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Absences for Settlement Applications

It is not always clear how many days absence from the country are allowed when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and what happens if you go over the limit. It is important to be aware that there are different limits on absences for citizenship applications.

The latest guidance from the Home Office can be found on their page, Indefinite Leave to Remain – calculating continuous residence period. The documents found here are updated periodically and represent the most up-to-date advice from the government.

It is very important to remember that absences of more than 180 days will break your residency period, and should be avoided.

Whilst you can apply up to 28 days before you reach the end of your residency period, the residence period is always counted backwards from the date the ILR application is submitted. For example, if an applicant would have reached the end of a specified 5 years with leave in a qualifying route on 30 November 2015 and they apply on 11 November 2015, the consecutive periods would be as follows:

  • Year 1 is 11 November 2015 to 12 November 2014
  • Year 2 is 11 November 2014 to 12 November 2013
  • Year 3 is 11 November 2013 to 12 November 2012
  • Year 4 is 11 November 2012 to 12 November 2011
  • Year 5 is 11 November 2011 to 12 November 2010