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Vital Change in Returning Resident Rules Announced

An important change that could have a significant impact for those who have lost their Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status has been announced in the latest Home Office guidance.

For help and expert advice on your immigration case or to find out how the new change may affect you, contact us on 0333 305 9375 or reach out to us online today.


Major New Change Removes Visitor Visa Barrier 

The existing Returning Resident rules do not allow those who have lost their ILR status and have spent more than two years outside of the UK to make an application to resume their settlement if they have returned to the UK as a visitor during that period.

However, from 12th April 2023 an update to the UK immigration rules means those wanting to return to the UK and resume their settled status as a returning resident will be able to do so even if they have held a Visitor Visa during that interim period.

UK Passport

Change Will “Impact Thousands” 

This important change will be welcome news for many people who did not realise that visiting the UK after their ILR status had expired would have left them failing to meet the Returning Resident rules.

“We have had many enquiries and clients over the years who fell foul of the old rules simply because they returned to the UK as visitors after their ILR lapsed even though they met all other requirements of the returning residents’ rules,” explained IAS immigration lawyer Victoria Idia.

She added: “This change is significant as in my view it potentially impacts thousands of individuals who were not even aware that they had lost their ILR or were unaware that they could not regain ILR because they had been visiting the UK.”

Anyone wanting to benefit from the rule update will still need to make their Returning Resident application from outside the UK.

Other Changes Announced By The Home Office 

The Spring update from the Home Office also includes a number of significant changes that will impact on those wanting to work, study and live in the UK.

As well as changes to the minimum income thresholds for Skilled Worker Visa applicants, salaries will now be based on 37.5 hours per work rather than the current 39 hour week measurement.

The Start-up Visa will close to new applicants, while the Innovator Visa will be replaced by the the Innovator Founder route. The new visa will no longer have a £50,000 minimum funds requirement and holders will be able to take up skilled work in addition to running their own business.

Another major changed planned towards the end of the year is the start of the roll-out of the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme, with nationals of Qatar from being required to have a valid ETA from November 2023. It is expected additional countries will be added throughout 2024.

Do you need help with an immigration issue? Our lawyers can assist you.

We can help you if you need help with your visa application or immigration case.

How Can IAS Help? 

Here at IAS, we can assist with your Returning Resident application.  As the UK’s leading immigration experts, we have an exceptional track record in settlement applications.

Our services include:

  • liaising with you in person, via phone or Skype at a time that suits you;
  • assessing your eligibility
  • checking your documents to ensure that they are sufficient for your application;
  • preparing a Letter of Representation to accompany your application;
  • liaising with the Home Office during your application process;
  • completing your application to the highest standard to ensure there are no mistakes made;
  • submitting your application to the Home Office.

Please do not hesitate to contact one of our immigration lawyers using our online contact form or call 0333 414 9244 for more information.

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