UK spouse visa and permitted absences – Asif Hanif (Henry Hyams Solicitors)
The information provided in this blog does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice please contact our expert immigration team who will assist you with any queries you may have. We are highly experienced with all immigration matters. Please visit Review Solicitors and see for yourself how our immigration team, Asif Hanif and Katie Vine have been highly rated by existing clients of the firm.
Welcome back to another monthly blog here at Henry Hyams.
In today’s article, I will be discussing a subject matter that I am commonly faced with within my day to day practice. It is important that readers and particularly those in similar situations understand the concept of absences and permitted holidays in light of the spouse visa category.
Are holidays permitted?
Of course, they are, however…
Many visa categories, other than a spouse visa, require an individual who is applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, not to be absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 month period leading up to the qualifying period.
Having been granted entry clearance to the UK under the spouse category can I now spend a majority of my time visiting other countries and enter the UK just to renew my visa?
“No, don’t even think of it!”
When applying for entry clearance/leave to remain as the spouse of a British Citizen, one of the key requirements you must fulfil is that you intend to live with your partner in the UK “permanently”.
For a recap on the spouse visa requirements please see my article here: https://henryhyams.com/news/spouse-visa-applications-and-covid-19-concession-a-brief-introduction/
Satisfying this test becomes extremely challenging if you have lived apart from your partner for an extended period.
It is advisable to enter the UK as soon as it is practicable to do so and live in the UK with your partner as you have intended during your application.
Does this mean I cannot have holidays with my spouse?
Not at all, however, it depends on your definition of a holiday!
Holidays abroad whether it is to visit family, business trips, or a casual getaway, will not interfere with demonstrating your intention to live in the UK permanently for your subsequent extension or indefinite leave to remain application.
However, if for example, you and your partner have spent a majority of your time overseas, you will find it extremely difficult to prove your intention to live in the UK permanently, and as a result, you may not qualify for an extension or for indefinite leave to remain.
However, each case is decided on a case by case basis so if you have spent a majority of your time overseas as long as you have documentary evidence for the reason of your absence, you may still qualify for your extension or indefinite leave to remain application.
What documentary evidence will be required?
There is no exhaustive list and it depends on each case.
If you are concerned about the period of your holidays/absences from the UK, then it is advised to contact an immigration solicitor so that your circumstances can be analysed and are advised accordingly.
Not everyone has absences from the UK purely because of casual holidays. You may have returned to your home country to visit an ill family member, and not have been able to travel back to the UK as soon as you had intended. This was the case with one of my clients. We successfully applied for indefinite leave to remain when she had been living in her home country caring for her ill mother for nearly two years.
Your solicitor will discuss your case with you and advise you on the most suitable evidence to attach with your application if you have had excessive absences from the UK.
- The 180 days absence rule does not apply to those with a spouse visa
- Under the spouse visa category you are free to have as many holidays as you wish, as long as you can prove your intention to live in the UK permanently
- Proving your intention may become troublesome if you have had excessive absences from the UK
If you are concerned or worried about your absences from the UK, then contact a member of our expert immigration team today. We will obtain complete instructions from you and advise you in writing of your legal position regarding your absences. We will assist you in collating all relevant evidence and compiling a comprehensive application bundle to submit to the Home Office.
Why should I instruct Henry Hyams Solicitors?
At Henry Hyams Solicitors we have a specialist immigration team that has over 30 years of combined experience in assisting our clients with their immigration matters, and we have a very high success rate. Our client reviews reflect our work ethos. In respect of our legal fee, we offer a competitive fixed-fee service, so there are no nasty surprises at the end.
If you would like to discuss your immigration application then please contact our immigration team. Henry Hyams has a highly experienced immigration team to guide you at every stage of your application. Henry Hyams Solicitors have been providing legal advice for over 80 years. We have experienced solicitors who have been providing immigration advice, assistance to clients nationally and internationally for many years.
Immigration Solicitor at Henry Hyams Solicitors, Oxford House, Oxford Row, Leeds, LS1 3BE