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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi i have had ILR since 2002. My husband got a job in Oz in

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Hi i have had ILR since 2002. My husband got a job in Oz in 2009 and we left for a year and 5 months but he hated it so returned to the UK in 2010 (may). In October 2010 my ageing parents both became ill with shingles and so i returned to australia with our 3 kids. My husband unfortunately hasn't been able to join us other than at Xmas for over a year and a half due to his work in the UK. Our kids have been attending school in australia and i've worked casually a tiny ammount while caring for my parents. The children and i are returning to the UK in August 2012 which will be 22 months since we left. The kids have british passports and i have an australian with ILR (in my old passport which i carry together with my new one). Will I be given a hard time at immigration control for having been away for a year and a bit, back to the UK for 5 months then away again for 22 months. We are returning to live indefinitely and kids are enrolling back into their original school. We own our home in the UK and i have tax receipts and bank statements from UK. Will i be asked to show all this as evidence of my committment to live as a permanent resident? Could my ILR be revoked? I get so stressed about all this as i've had nasty officers in the past give me a hard time even though all i am is someone trying to keep my own family happy (husband/kids) and do the good daughter thing for my ill parents back in oz. thanks in advance if you can put my mind at rest.

Just to be clear:-

1. When you do return you will have been away from the UK for a period of 22 months, correct?

2. Will your husband be coming with you on the same flight? I note he has not been with you in Aus, but will he travel there to help you come back?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

1. Yes by the time i return it will be 22 months that i have been away from UK.

2. My husband is already in the UK and will not be travelling with me and the 3 children


Thanks for your reply.

The UKBA can revoke ILR if you have been outside of the UK for a period of two years. They also have discretionary powers to deny entry if they suspect that you are not coming back to settle or no logner have sufficiently strong family ties in the UK.

If you have been outside the UK for two years then the UKBA require that you apply for a returning resident's visa in order to get entry clearance:-

If you are below the two year limit then you can travel to the UK and should be granted re-entry on the basis of your previous ILR provided you can show that you have strong family ties to the UK. The fact that your husband has remained living in the UK is helpful in this regard, as is the fact that you children hold UK passports.

Therefore, if you come back after 22 months it is possible that you may be taken for questioning upon your arrival. You would then have to explain your family ties to the UK in questioning. In this regard it would be enormously helpful if your husband was physically at the Airport with some documentary evidence of the fact that he has remained in the UK (eg. passport, evidence of his job/accomodation here whilst you have been away) so that he can attend the questioning and corroborate your explanation. Provided he is able to do this I would exspect your to be granted entry.

If you return past on or after 24 months then you must apply for a returning residents visa though.

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If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
my husband won't be able to greet us at Heathrow as he is always working! So a friend is collecting us. do you really think i will be grilled given 22 months falls within the 2 year ILR time allowed?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.

I'm trying illustrate to you that, yes, it's possible even though I suspect that you will probably be okay. But the UKBA at customs have discretionary powers and so it depends on the actual individual officer.

You may be questioned, but then you may be fine.Their is a variance of approach with the UKBA (which you may be aware of via news reports). Your husband should really take a day off for this, I would have thought it more important that a day's annual leave really.

I appreciate it's frustrating but that's the way things are right now.

You will see another expert has agreed with my answer.

I trust this clarifies, please click accept.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
why do they let people with ILR the right to live abroad for a maximum of 2 years if they then put them through a questioning. It's very difficult having married someone on the opposite side of the world and then sick family in oz unexpectedly! Any compassion i ask? Surely proof of our home in the UK is sufficient, work details and tax receipts. I wish i could get an answer that would make me breathe a sigh of relief. Not a way to treat honest, decent people. Can someone reassure me i won't be subjected to an interrogation in front of my very young and tired children?

The documentary proof that you refer to (work details, house, husband's tax receipts) are exactly the type of things that you would produce to them to prove your strong ties to the UK and why therefore you should be allowed back in to the country, albeit after producing them to the officials.

I acknowledge that you consider that it's not a compassionate way to treat people and I would be inclined to agree, but the position taken by the UKBA because not everyone seeking to re-enter the UK is as honestly well-intentioned as you. There are some who may not have strong ties to the UK any longer who would seek to come back in to the UK for nefarious reasons and it's because of these people that the UKBA have to establish that each returning resident is doing so for the right reasons.

It's not an interrogation, it's questioning. It's not like a police interview, but it's to simply establish what you know to be true: that you are a a person holding ILR who is returning to settle long term with your family. The questioning is there to distinguish you from other less honest law-abiding ones and you will be fine but it would be remiss of me to say "You'll be allowed in, no problem" because it's better if I make you aware of what may be possible.

Please click accept. You may not like the answer, but it is a genuine and truthful explanation of what may happen and that is what this service is for.

Kind regards,

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