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Topic: My Wife was just offered an amazing job in the US.... what are our options? How long can someone on  (Read 360 times)

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She is currently on FLR(M) and is looking to apply for her ILR in early 2023.

If she were to take the role in the US (which would require her spending more time in the US than the UK) would it impact her FLR(M) status and future ILR application?

Thanks, appreciate a response :-)


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Type of Application: FLR M
Country applying from: UK, London
Nationality: US Citizen
Online application: 12th June 2020
Sopra Steria Doc Upload: TBC
Biometrics: Awaiting to book appointment
FLR M Received/New BRP: Awaiting


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I don't believe there's a time requirement for future ILR applications, it was a few years since my wife did hers, but the United Kingdom has to be where she intends to be settled and make the UK her home. I think you're allowed to work abroad but I think literally accepting a job in the USA and moving over won't cut it. I think it's more for possible temporary transfers etc.

I'd wait for more clear explanation from the usual amazing people but the idea of ILR is that you're a permanent resident of the UK.

If somehow she gained ILR she would find it virtually impossible to gain citizenship unless she came back to the UK for a number of years.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 05:03:16 PM by Ben1989 »
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
29/11/2013 - Engaged
25/02/2014 - Married
29/04/2014 - Spouse Application Approved
02/05/2014 - Visa Received
09/01/2017 - FLR(M) Granted
06/06/2017 - Little Nipper born
22/07/2019 - ILR Granted


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You are allowed a short term absence from the UK.

You need to demonstrate that it was unavoidable (military assignment, etc) and demonstrate that you have still lived together as a married couple during that time (joint tax return for example).

If it’s not an unavoidable assignment, you’ll likely need to make the decision on if you two live in the USA or UK.  It would mean starting the visa process again (if and when) you two decide to return to the UK.


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So let’s play this out....

If for example she takes the role but comes back to the UK every month for a week or so, as her primary residence will still be here and we will still indeed be living together and be married, then would that hamper the ILR application which is due in 2023.

Sorry for all the questions, but to give you some background, she was recently made redundant in July this year and has been trying desperately to find another job.

She was contacted by a well established company and head hunter and was pretty much offered the role.
We obviously don’t want to make any decisions that may impact a future application for ILR and citizenship but if she were to spend 3 weeks out of the month out of the UK and come back for a week every month, would that constitute any issues in the future?


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Type of Application: FLR M
Country applying from: UK, London
Nationality: US Citizen
Online application: 12th June 2020
Sopra Steria Doc Upload: TBC
Biometrics: Awaiting to book appointment
FLR M Received/New BRP: Awaiting


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If for example she takes the role but comes back to the UK every month for a week or so, as her primary residence will still be here and we will still indeed be living together and be married

Unfortunately, I suspect that visiting the UK for 1 week at a time each month will not count as living together in the eyes of the IO.  In a year, that comes out to 12 weeks out of 52, which is substantially more time living apart than together.

While ILR eligibility does not have a defined limit on absences from the UK, the applicant does still need to show the following:

You must have been living in the UK on your family visa as a partner for at least:
- 5 continuous years if you're on the 5 year route


Emphasis mine.
https://www.gov.uk/settle-in-the-uk/y/you-re-the-family-member-or-partner-of-a-british-citizen/no/partner/you-re-still-with-your-partner

In regards to UK citizenship, prolonged absences from the UK will definitely mean a citizenship application will not be successful. 

To qualify for UK citizenship, in regards to UK residency requirements, you:

- must not have spent more than 270 days outside the UK during the 3 years before application, and
- not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the 12 months proceeding the application. 

The only exceptions are for exceptional circumstances (e.g. military service, working for the UK government in a post abroad, etc).     

https://www.gov.uk/apply-citizenship-spouse


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Will she be taxed in the USA or U.K.?

Your answer is there.  And you MUST live together.

Is the employer happy for her to work one week a month from a different country and time zone?  Do they have a U.K. entity she could be based out of?


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Will she be taxed in the USA or U.K.?

Your answer is there.  And you MUST live together.

Is the employer happy for her to work one week a month from a different country and time zone?  Do they have a U.K. entity she could be based out of?
Hi KFDancer, she will be taxed in the US as it is a US company, they do have a UK entity and she is waiting to see if she could possibly be hired against the UK entity and be on UK payroll and pay taxes here but spend a few weeks a month working from the US office and then from home in the UK.

When we say live together, we are obviously living together when she is in the UK i of course will NOT be living with her in the US when she is there for work.


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Type of Application: FLR M
Country applying from: UK, London
Nationality: US Citizen
Online application: 12th June 2020
Sopra Steria Doc Upload: TBC
Biometrics: Awaiting to book appointment
FLR M Received/New BRP: Awaiting


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As has been touched on, if your wife managed to gain ILR it us up to the Immigration Officer that she's returning to the UK to settle. If she is coming over very sporadically and has openly accepted a permanent American job in USA and her main residence is in the US (let's be honest, it will be) he may/likely deny her entry on ILR.

With that said there's a decision to be made here. She has an opportunity in USA that it sounds like she's keen to accept. There's also a decision of staying and gaining citizenship which will be impossible with her move. Keep in mind that ILR is permanent residency. She cannot remain a permanent resident by moving to the USA and coming over to visit you every month as that is the way it will rightly be viewed by the IO.
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
29/11/2013 - Engaged
25/02/2014 - Married
29/04/2014 - Spouse Application Approved
02/05/2014 - Visa Received
09/01/2017 - FLR(M) Granted
06/06/2017 - Little Nipper born
22/07/2019 - ILR Granted


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If she accepts the US job and moves to the US with monthly visits back to the UK, these are the potential pitfalls I can see:

- If the majority of her time is spent in the US and not living with you (nor continuously residing in the UK), she may have her ILR application refused. 

- Even if she does qualify for ILR (with the justification of being abroad for work purposes, which I think is risky in this instance), she will not qualify for UK citizenship spending so much time out of the UK.  If she doesn't have citizenship, you'll have to consider how to maintain her right to live/work in the UK moving forward.  An important aspect of ILR is that it stands for Indefinite Leave to Remain.  If you are outside the UK for 2 years, you will lose your ILR and no longer have a valid visa to live/work in the UK.  It should also be emphasized that repeated short trips back to the UK do not count to maintain UK residence for ILR purposes.  To maintain ILR status, you must be continuously living in the UK (general rule of thumb, less than 50% of your time should be spent outside the UK).  So even if she gets ILR, if she continues to live/work in the US, her ILR could lapse after 2 years.  Or during a UK visit, if an IO doesn't think she's genuinely living in the UK and has just returned for a visit to reset the 2-year clock, the IO can cancel her ILR on the spot.

There's no right or wrong decision.  It's up to you, and what will be best for your situation and what your priorities and long-term goals are.   


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Thank you all for your insights, definitly time to have a real hard think about this :-).

I think we both feel we have already invested 4 years of our life from her having moved all the way here, it seems a pity to let all that go even if it is indeed for a brilliant 6 figure job in the US.

She is currently on FLR(M) and will be applying for ILR in early 2023 therefore it seems like the best option to obtain ILR, followed by British Citizenship and IF at that point (in years to come!) we decide as a unit to relocate to the US atleast then we are both British citizens and as dual nationals will have the option to come to the UK if for any reason we don’t wish to continue in the US.

Again, thank you for your insights :-)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Type of Application: FLR M
Country applying from: UK, London
Nationality: US Citizen
Online application: 12th June 2020
Sopra Steria Doc Upload: TBC
Biometrics: Awaiting to book appointment
FLR M Received/New BRP: Awaiting


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Thank you all for your insights, definitly time to have a real hard think about this :-).

I think we both feel we have already invested 4 years of our life from her having moved all the way here, it seems a pity to let all that go even if it is indeed for a brilliant 6 figure job in the US.

She is currently on FLR(M) and will be applying for ILR in early 2023 therefore it seems like the best option to obtain ILR, followed by British Citizenship and IF at that point (in years to come!) we decide as a unit to relocate to the US atleast then we are both British citizens and as dual nationals will have the option to come to the UK if for any reason we don’t wish to continue in the US.

Again, thank you for your insights :-)


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Honestly, that's the sensible decision imo. And if she's been offered a great job once, chances are it'll happen again when the time is right.


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Honestly, that's the sensible decision imo. And if she's been offered a great job once, chances are it'll happen again when the time is right.


Same as Larrabee said. Gaining citizenship after this all time is so so valuable because nobody knows that the future holds no matter what people plan.
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
29/11/2013 - Engaged
25/02/2014 - Married
29/04/2014 - Spouse Application Approved
02/05/2014 - Visa Received
09/01/2017 - FLR(M) Granted
06/06/2017 - Little Nipper born
22/07/2019 - ILR Granted


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