The application form asks you to list periods of leave over 6 months outside the UK and so does that mean that periods of absence over 6 months are going to affect your application for further leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain in the UK under Appendix FM? Surprisingly, Appendix FM does not actually contain any specific requirements regarding periods of leave outside the UK over 6 months. However, what it does contain is a requirement that you must intend to live permanently in the UK. That means that periods of leave outside the UK above 6 months may not be fatal to your application. What is going to be required though, is for you to show that you do intend to settle permanently. That means that you will probably be expected to explain the reasons for your time outside the UK if those periods exceeded 6 months in any 12 month rolling period. You will need to show your connection to the UK and that you are making the UK your permanent home.
For those of you who are not applying under Appendix FM, its not that simple and periods outside the UK in any 12 month rolling period are likely to be fatal unless they fall within an exception or are covered by the transitional arrangements. UKVI have a regularly updated policy on this which can be found here. Its a must read for anyone applying under the points based system whose absences may be an issue.
Given the impact of any of the above issues on your application, its always worth taking advice. As well as full appointments in the office or by skype, we can also provide you with answers to your questions via our email and telephone advice service. Call us on 01642 219222 or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Rogers is an Immigration Lawyer with over 18 years experience and Director of Immigration Advice Centre.