Continuous residence requirement for settlement as a Skilled Worker

To meet the “continuous” residence requirement for settlement as a Skilled Worker, you must not have been outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period. The long absence can be made of one period of more than 180 days, or from more periods of less than 180 days, but which, cumulated, amount to absences of more than 180 days in any 12-month period.

If you were absent from the UK to assist with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis overseas (provided that your sponsor agreed to the absence for that purpose), or if your absences were the result of a travel disruption due to natural disaster, military conflict or pandemic, those periods spent outside the UK will not count towards the 180-day limit.

It will not count either any period spent outside the UK if you undertook a research activity, if this activity was approved by your sponsor, but only if you have been sponsored for a job in one of the following occupation codes:

2111 Chemical scientists

2112 Biological scientists and biochemists

2113 Physical scientists

2114 Social and humanities scientists

2119 Natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified

2150 Research and development managers

2311 Higher education teaching professionals

If there are compelling and compassionate personal circumstances, such as your life-threatening illness, or life-threatening illness or death of a close family member of yours, any period spent outside the UK for such a reason will not count when calculating the 180 days.

If you were in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa, any time you spent lawfully in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man is treated as time spent in the UK.

Even where you have not been absent from the UK for long periods of time, your continuous period of residence may be broken if you have been convicted of an offence and sentenced to a period of imprisonment (unless it is a suspended sentence) or directed to be detained in an institution other than a prison, or if you are subject to a deportation or exclusion order.

During any period of imprisonment or detention, or during any period where you required permission to be in the UK and you did not have it, you will not be regarded as lawfully present in the UK, and for any period during which those circumstances apply, you will not meet the requirement to be “continuously” resident in the UK. The continuous residence period will be calculated by counting back from the date of application, or from any date up to 28 days after the date of application, or from the date of decision, whichever of these dates is the most beneficial to you.

If you want to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa and need my specialist advice, feel free to contact me. Please note that I am an accredited immigration adviser, not an employee of the UK Visas and Immigration. I charge fees for the advice provided.