Understanding the Returning Resident Visa: Requirements, Eligibility, and Application Process

Returning Resident visa caters to those who previously had indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom (also known as “settlement”) which has now lapsed, and who now want to return to and settle in the UK.


If the visa application is successful, having been granted permission to re-enter the UK, the applicant’s residential rights and benefits will be restored.


The Returning Resident visa application must be submitted from outside of the UK and the following validity requirements must be met:


  • The application must be submitted on the ‘UKA/ROA/RR’ form or (for applicants under the Windrush Scheme) the ‘Windrush Scheme application (Overseas) form
  • The applicant must be outside the UK
  • The required fees must be paid (no fee is required for the Windrush Scheme)
  • The required biometrics must be provided
  • The applicant’s identity and nationality must be established
  • There must be a record of the applicant being previously granted settlement in the UK, which has now lapsed due to the absence


On the application, the genuine intention to settle in the UK must be demonstrated as well as strong ties to the country through family, assets or business connections. Furthermore, the length of time the applicant had lived in the UK before their departure will also be a factor in considering whether there is a strong link. As such, the longer the period of residence in the UK was, the more reason will be to believe that the applicant has established a strong connection with the UK.


Important to note that when assessing an application, the Home Office will also take into consideration the reason for the prolonged absence, would it be medical treatment, caring for a family member, overseas employment/self-employment or studies. Overstaying due to inability to travel can also be taken into consideration.


Lastly, some applicants might be subject to a TB test requirement.


The application fee is currently set at £637. The current processing time is 3 weeks. If the application is successful, the passport will be endorsed with an entry clearance vignette valid for 3 months. The BRP card will be available for collection at a designated post office upon arrival in the UK.


At Chan Neill Solicitors LLP we have an experienced immigration team which has been successfully assisting applicants with a Returning Resident visa for many years. Do not hesitate to contact us for advice and assistance.