Returning Resident Visa

If you wish to apply for a visa in this category then our team at Hunter Stone Law will be able to guide and assist you throughout every step of the process. In order to qualify for this visa you would have to meet the requirement of the relevant section of the Immigration Rules. However we have attempted to simplify the requirements below.

You need a Returning Resident visa to come back to live in the UK if you were previously settled (given ‘indefinite leave to remain’) and you’ve been away for more than 2 years.

You don’t need a visa if you’ve been away for less than 2 years, but you should check if you can settle on your return.


You must:

  • plan to return to live in the UK permanently
  • have been settled in the UK when you last left
  • have been away for more than 2 years
  • not have been given public funds to help you leave the UK

You must also be able to prove that you have strong ties to the UK, for example you have:

  • strong family ties in the UK
  • you’ve lived in the UK most of your life

Family members (‘dependants’) - Your dependants (partner and children under 18) need to apply separately for a Returning Resident visa if they’re eligible.


You’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • previous passports
  • a passport-sized colour photograph
  • documents that prove you have ties to the UK, eg proof you’ve earned income, or rented or owned property, in the UK
  • You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.


You must apply online for a Returning Resident visa.  You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.