Returning ResidentWhat is a returning resident?
A returning resident is someone who has settled status in the United Kingdom (UK) but having travelled abroad, requires re-admission to the UK as a resident.

Settled means living in the UK lawfully with no time limit on your stay.

How do I qualify?
You will qualify if:

  • you were settled in the UK when you last left
  • you have not been away for more than two years and you are returning for settlement
  • you did not receive public funds to meet the cost of leaving the UK

If you have been away from the UK for longer than two years you may still qualify to return to the UK as a returning resident if, for example, you have strong family ties or have lived here most of your life.

Do I need a visa?
If you have been away from the UK for more than two years you are advised to apply for a visa at the nearest UK Overseas Mission that offers a visa service.

If you are travelling on a new passport that does not contain a stamp confirming that you are a permanent resident in the UK, you should carry with you your old passport or other evidence that you were previously resident in the UK.

Similarly, if you obtain a new passport after returning to the UK you should send it to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate so that the permission to enter or remain can be transferred to the new passport.  

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