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Qualifying For Entry As A Returning Resident

A returning resident is a resident who left the UK and wants to come back to live in the United Kingdom again.

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In order for you to be qualified to be a UK entrant as a returning resident, you are required to:

  • Have been issued an Indefinite Leave to Remain the last time you left
  • Have not spent more than two years outside the United Kingdom
  • Have not gotten help from public fund to meet the cost of departing the UK.
  • Have the intension to settle in the United Kingdom hence your application.

You will not qualify for entry if you:

  • do not fulfill one of the criteria as mentioned above
  • wish to re-enter the United Kingdom while holding a valid limited leave to remain or enter
  • have been removed from the UK because you pose a threat to public welfare or liable to a deportation order
  • were exempt from control because of your relation to diplomatic or consular missions during your previous residence in the United Kingdom

ASSESSING THE APPLICATION

Further inquiries would not be required if the Export Control Organization (ECO) through common sense and flexible approach decides that your application is authentic, while also noting that your ordinary place of residence in the United Kingdom.

If you as an ordinary UK resident have spent a considerable amount of time abroad on business, studies, or visitation you may be permitted to re-enter the country as a returning resident. You are however expected to prove that you were usually resided in the United Kingdom or have the intension to return to residence in the UK while you have spent no more than 2 years abroad.

The 2 years rule has some exceptions which will be further elaborated in the coming sections.

In a situation where there are slight errors or exclusions in the application and there is enough proof to evince that the application will be approved, you are expected to enquire and seek clarification or request the documentation or information missing.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

Your passport contains the stamps of previous endorsement by the Home Office for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) which stands as evidence that supports your claim for returning residence.

In a situation where you have spent more than two years outside the United Kingdom, you will be required to provide additional evidence that explains why you are qualified as a returning residence.

Interviews are conducted and sometimes used in identifying fraudulent claims like in situations whereby the claimant is found to not be able to speak English language or in other circumstances where the claimant cannot describe his/her area of residence in the UK after claiming to have been previously resided there. These situations will usually lead to further investigation of the claim.

EXCEPTION TO THE TWO YEAR RULE

Exceptions to the two years rule are broadly categorized into two; Exceptions for applicants with strong ties to the United Kingdom and Exception for holders of special UK passports.

1. Strong Ties to the United Kingdom:

If you have strong ties to the United Kingdom you will be considered for entry even if you have ever spent more than two years outside the United Kingdom. The immigration rule provides that you will not lose your status as a holder of an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if you spend two years or more outside the UK because you have accompanied your spouse, civil partner or same-sex partner who is:

  • posted abroad and he/she (the spouse) is an HM forces member serving abroad
  • a National of the United Kingdom or Indefinite Leave to Return (ILR) holder who is:
    • a permanent HM Diplomatic Servicemember
    • a comparable member of staff of the British Council based in the United Kingdom
    • a member of staff of the Department for International Development
    • an employee of the UKBA

For the Export Control Organization (ECO) to ascertain if you really have strong ties to the United Kingdom they will take into consideration the following factors:

  • How long you were in the United Kingdom as an original resident
  • How much time you spent outside the United Kingdom.
  • The basis for your prolonged stay outside the United Kingdom (2 years and over) such as; if it was intentional or through an unforeseen circumstance that required you to stay.
  • Why you left the United Kingdom and why you intend to return
  • What sort of family ties you have in the United Kingdom
  • What is the level of relationship with your family and how have they been taken care of while you were outside the United Kingdom.
  • Do you have a place of residence in the United Kingdom and in case you are granted entry are you still going to reside there?

The more time you spend outside the United Kingdom over 2 years the harder it will be for you to be eligible for entry as a returning resident. On the other hand, if you have resided for a longer time during your previous residence in the United Kingdom the probability of you getting approval for entry into the UK will increase as long as you have not had a break during your stay which lasted for some years.

Some specific situations might support your claim as a returning resident, they include:

  • If your prolonged stay abroad was for service with a specific employer after which you will return with the same employer to the United Kingdom.
  • If your prolonged stay abroad was to render service for the Government of the United Kingdom, or as a dependant of an HM Forces member, or as an employee of a private organization backed by a branch of the UK Government, a United Kingdom company or a UN organization.
  • If your prolonged stay abroad was to take up work in public service for a nation that shares a cordial relationship with the United Kingdom, for which you are not presumed to reside permanently in that country.
  • If the purpose of your prolonged stay is for educational studies after which you intend to return to your family in the United Kingdom at the conclusion of the programme.
  • If the purpose of your prolonged stay was for medical reasons due to treatments not available in the United Kingdom.

2. Holder of Certain United Kingdom passports

If you hold certain United Kingdom passports you will be entitled to exceptions as a returning resident.

  1. In accordance to the Immigration Rules under paragraph 16, if you under any of the following statuses make available a passport issued in the United Kingdom and Islands or the Republic of Ireland prior to the 1st of January 1973, you will be granted entry except there is an endorsement on the passport stating that you are subject to immigration control.
    • A British Overseas Citizen (BOC)
    • A British Dependent Territories Citizens (BDTC)
    • A British National (Overseas) (BN(0))
    • A British Protected Person (BPP)
  2. In accordance to the Immigration Rules under paragraph 17, if you are a British Overseas Citizen (BOC) who holds a United Kingdom passport (no matter where the passport was issued), you are authorized to enter the United Kingdom at any time as a returning resident as long as you can prove to the Immigration Officer that you were issued Indefinite Leave to Remain on or after the 1st of March, 1968.

    If you can fully certify the criteria mentioned above (1 & 2) your passport will be endorsed with "Holder is entitled to re-admission to the United Kingdom"

    If you fall under any of the categories in 1 or 2 above and you have an endorsement on your passport for Indefinite Leave to Remain or Enter you will be authorized to re-enter the United Kingdom at any time.


Reiss Edwards Awards

ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated
Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge
ACQ5 Awards Award ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated Three Best Rated
Department For International Development Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge University Of Cambridge

O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

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"I wholeheartedly recommend Reiss Edwards to anyone who is in search of immigration advice. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amar who has been very thorough in finding a solution to my enquiry, and followed up with additional information even after the consultation. I normally don't leave reviews, and this firm already has enough good reviews for me to need to my own anyways! However, in this instance, I do hope that my review can let anyone who reads it be aware that RE is a great choice, these people care enough to help you the best they can".

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"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

Saira Lawson-Brown

"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

Nora Nkechi

"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

Deepak Chartbhurjh

"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

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"I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them".

Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them".

Mo Hussein

"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation".

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

Richard Stone

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Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is definitely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind".

Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards".

Florence Giwa

"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards".

Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them".

Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

Reiss Edwards Reviews

O.L

"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

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Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

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Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

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Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee...

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"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy. As a family, we...

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Saira Lawson-Brown

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"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled ...

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"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration...

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Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They ac...

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Richard Stone

"I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the a...

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Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to ...

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"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my expe...

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"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a ...

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"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused...

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