Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

  • Mood:

Not settling in the UK just yet.

I spent a portion of last night and today collecting information for my application for settlement in the UK. (I decided to wait until after our upcoming trip to the States in case my passport wasn't returned in time.) While I was putting together a list of my absences - and thank goodness for my LJ addiction or I should never have managed to do it* - I discovered something that made me check over the guidelines again. Firstly, that I've been outside the UK for 222 days during the past five years. Technically, you're not supposed to spend more than 150 days outside the country, even for work, during the period your application covers. Secondly, buried in a bunch of information about settlement on a web site for a company that fills in visa application forms for a fee, I found the following sentence:

"A work permit holder can only apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after they have spent at least 4 years and 11 months as a work permit holder. Any periods of unemployment or periods when the individual was working without a valid work permit (or leave to remain) will not count toward the qualifying period."

(Note that this information does NOT appear in the settlement form guidelines or on the official UK Border Agency web site. I had to phone them to confirm it, which involved spending nearly 20 minutes on hold. WTF.)

Although I had a work permit for the entire time I've been in the UK, for the first year and a half I was on a partner's work permit. Since I wasn't actually working, that time doesn't count towards settlement. This makes perfect sense to me and I'm not quibbling with the rule that requires you to be employed for the full five years. I just wish that that had been clear to me two months ago.

The upshot of the story is that I'll be applying for an extension to my HSMP (highly skilled migrant) visa, now called a Tier 1 visa, and waiting another two years for settlement. I admit I cried a little when I discovered this.

On a more upbeat note, check out the table of all the places I've been since I moved to the UK!

Absences from the UK over the past 5 years


Duration (days)



Los Angeles, CA, USA


29 September 2004

9 October 2004

Dublin, Ireland


19 January 2005

22 January 2005

San Diego, CA, USA


26 January 2005

9 February 2005

Prague, Czech Republic


1 March 2005

3 March 2005

Amsterdam, Netherlands


16 March 2005

18 March 2005

Los Angeles, CA, USA


23 May 2005

8 June 2005



16 August 2005

31 August 2005

Barcelona, Spain


24 November 2005

29 November 2005

San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA


27 December 2005

10 January 2006

Cologne, Germany


15 June 2006

23 June 2006

Cork, Ireland


26 June 2006

1 July 2006

Paris, France


14 July 2006

16 July 2006

Los Angeles, CA, USA


17 October 2006

10 November 2006

Budapest, Hungary


26 December 2006

2 January 2007

Los Angeles, CA, USA


6 January 2007

15 January 2007

Dubrovnik, Croatia


3 July 2007

13 July 2007

Olympia, WA & Los Angeles, CA USA


31 August 2007

10 September 2007



18 January 2008

26 January 2008

Paris, France


16 February 2008

18 February 2008

Olympia, WA, USA


5 July 2008

20 July 2008

Berlin, Germany


22 September 2008

25 September 2008

Vienna, Austria


4 October 2008

7 October 2008

New York, NY, USA


21 January 2009

27 January 2009

Olympia, WA, USA


5 September 2009

26 September 2009

Also on a more upbeat note, I discovered a whole bunch of postcard stamps that I bought the last time I was in the States. So, if you want a postcard while I'm on holiday (assuming I don't get exploded by a volcano or eaten by bears while in Yellowstone), fill out this poll. You have until noon on Saturday (5 September).

Poll #1452719 Postcards from the wilderness

Do you want a postcard?

Yes please!

Do I have a current snail mail address for you?

I just gave it to you in the last poll, dummy.
I've given it to you before.

What about your "real" name?

What about it?
My DW/LJ handle will do.
Make something up. As long as it's not Scroogy McFiggins.
I like Scroogy Mcfiggins. You can call me that.

Real name & address go here please.

* This is partly because not all US airports used to stamp our passports on entry, so I have a lot of return stamps through Heathrow & Gatwick with no start date. It's also partly because immigrations officials tend to stamp on whatever page they happen to find most appealing, which means I have a number of pages with stamps from, for example, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2008. *headdesk*
Tags: whinge
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