Thursday, 19 February 2015

How to count absences for Indefinite Leave to Remain? From what date? Date of entry, date when the visa was issued or date of ILR application?

This is one of the most common question for those applying for an ILR in the Points-Based System routes, such as Tier 1 and Tier 2, as well as in the Ancestral route.

The limit on absences is well-known, 180 days in each 12 months of the (5 years) qualifying period. The questions is: how do we count these 12 months, from which date? From the date of entry to the UK? No. From the date of when the visa was issued? No. A calendar year? No.

The answer is: from the date of application for an ILR. Since there is no obligation to apply for an ILR on the 1st day you are eligible, ‘your’ 12 months for this purpose will depend on the day when you’re applying for an ILR. To make it more complex, you can apply for an ILR within 28 days before you qualify, thus potentially ‘moving’ your application date and therefore ‘your’ 12 months again.

There may be further questions re whether to count the period between the date your Entry Clearance was issued and the date you entered the UK; plus a further question whether to count this period as an absence.

For an individual advice or to make an application please contact us: or visit   

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CPD website: