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Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience:  Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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Hello, I have a question regarding to british citizenship,

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I have a question regarding to british citizenship, I had student visas for the past 7 years and there was only one gap between 2 visa ( around 10 days gap, this gap was on Sep 2012 ) and during that gap I was outside the UK and I had a contract of rented flat ,a car and utilities bill under my name so I intended to go back to the UK which I did go back. Moreover, Now my visa will expire on the 15th of this Aug and I'm outside the UK and I still hold a flat contract and a car under my name and might take long time to get a visa student so there will be a gap, the question is will that gaps effect my right to get the citizenship ? Should I apply for tourist visa till I get the student visa ? if the gap effects my right is there any advice from you as a lawyer ?
If you have been outside the UK continuously since September 2012 to the present time then the gap will reset your qualifying period for ILR. The rules are that the gap outside the UK can be accepted if you leave with a valid visa and then re-enter the UK with a valid visa within 6 months. You are significantly over that period and therefore the qualifying period is broken and you cannot do anything to mitigate this.

Entering with a visitor visa would also not be a good idea at all if you already have an application submitted for a student visa and would only create problems for you.

I would like to provide you with options but there are none that would maintain your qualifying period and this will start again once you enter the UK with a qualifying visa.

I appreciate that this might not be the news you were hoping for but please remember to rate the service provided rather than how you feel about the advice given. If you have further questions then please feel free to ask.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



you got my question wrong ! There was a 10 days gap on sep 2012 and when I got the visa on Oct 2012 I returned to theUK and I stayed there till the 6th of Aug 2013 and now I am out side the UK and my visa will expired on the 15th of Aug and I might obtain the new visa after the 15th of Aug which mean there will be a gap.



Sorry about that - it seems I had not understood your explanation. Are you saying that you left the UK in September 2012 with a valid visa and 10 days after it expired your new visa was granted and your time outside the UK was only a month?

If this is correct then you do not need to worry as the continuous period is not broken if you leave the UK with a valid visa and re-enter the UK with a valid visa within 6 months. This will also apply to the new visa you are waiting for. The key is having a valid visa when you leave and when you come back and not being outside the UK for more than 6 months. Do NOT get a visit visa.

You obviously need to ensure that you meet all other residence requirements for Long Residence in due course but a gap between visas such as you have described will not break the qualifying residence period.

If I have still not understood the details correctly then you should confirm the date you left the UK, when your visa expired, when the new visa started and the date you came back into the UK with the new visa

Does this answer your question?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I will give you all the dates so it will be easier to understand.

my previous visa was student visa expired on the 30th of september 2012 and I left the UK on the same date. when I went back home My wife and I applied for a visa mine was dependent visa it is valid from 07/10/2012 and I entered the UK on the 23ed of October 2012 and the expiry date is 15th of Aug 2013. ( while I was outside the UK I have a running flat contract and a car under my name if these info help), the gap between the 2 visas is 7 days I believe.


now my current visa which will expired on the 15 of Aug 2013. and I applied for a course in the UK and I got the offer to do the master, these days I'm waiting for the financial guarantee so I can provide it to the university and who will give me the CAS letter, the issue is by the time I obtain the CAS letter - I have to have the CAS letter to apply for student visa - my current visa will be expired and there will be a gap.

Will these gaps effect my right to get the citizenship ?

What came to my mind is I apply for a visit visa to obtain a visa while waiting to receive my study document to apply for a student visa the reason to do that is trying to avoid gaps if the gap is an issue.




Thanks for the clarification. The situation is as I stated in my previous post - you held a valid visa when you left, you had/will have a valid visa when you come back to the UK and the time outside the UK during each absence was/will be less than 6 months, so these gaps will not be considered a break in the continuous period and thus will not stop you apply for ILR in due course. Obviously you will have a problem if you are outside the UK for more than 6 months and the shorter the absence the better.

There is no need to get a visitor visa and given the time you have spent in the UK already there might be a chance that it would be refused or they might ask why you would apply for a visit instead of dependant - remember a visit is meant to be a short and temporary visit and these applications get refused if the caseworker does not think you intend to return home.

If you will not be outside the UK for long then you should simply wait and apply for your student visa from outside the UK.

I hope the above clearly answers your question - please let me know.
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