Returning Resident’s Visa

    Returning Resident visas     If you are a returning resident wishing to travel to the UK you will only be able to do so without a visa if you have evidence of your immigration status in the UK to present on departure (i.e. Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)). This must be in the form of an original endorsement in a current/previous passport, an original paper vignette or a biometric residence permit, with a current valid passport. Home Office correspondence, driving licences etc are not acceptable evidence for travel.   If you have lost your documentation (e.g. ILR stamp) or you have been away from the UK for more than two years you must apply for a Returning Resident visa.   For a Returning Resident visa you must:
  • plan to return to live in the UK permanently
  • have been settled in the UK before you last left
  • not have been given public funds to help you leave the UK
  You must also provide the following evidence;
  • All available previous passports.
  • Evidence of your departure date from the UK (e.g. ticketing information, boarding pass).
  • Evidence of your immigration status at the time of departure from the UK (e.g. Home office. correspondence).
  • Evidence of your continued residence in the UK (P60s, wage slips, bank statements).

If you’ve been away from the UK for more than 2 years you will also need to show what exceptional personal circumstances have led to you being away for this period of time.

You will need to show::

  • your strong family ties to the UK
  • that you have lived in the UK for most of your life
  • your current circumstances and why you’ve lived outside of the UK
  Lost Biometric Residence Permit? Settled in the UK prior to 1973 You may still qualify for a Returning Resident visa even if you do not have an Indefinite Leave to Remain stamp. You will need to provide evidence of your settled status as of 1 January 1973 (e.g. passport containing the original entry stamp) andevidence of your continued residence since this date. This evidence should be from a variety of sources and cover the complete period of residence in the UK.

Examples of acceptable evidence include:

  • Educational records
  • Doctors/Dentist registration and attendance records
  • Wage slips
  • P60s
  • Bank statements
  All applications must be made at the Visa Application Centre.   For further information on Returning Resident visas visit

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