Returning Resident

This section explains whether you can return to live in the UK if you had previously been allowed to stay here permanently but decided to leave.

A resident is someone who has been given permission to stay in the United Kingdom without time limit. A returning resident is one who left the United Kingdom and wants to come back to live here again.
If you were settled in the UK when you last left, you have not been away for more than 2 years, and are returning to live here permanently, you may return as a resident unless you were given public funds to pay the costs of leaving the UK.

If you have been away for more than 2 years, you may still be eligible to return to live in the UK if, e.g.  You have strong family ties here or have lived here most of your life.
So, if you have been away for more than two years, you must apply for permission to return, known as entry clearance. You should do this at the British diplomatic post in the country where you live now. The entry clearance will be in the form of a visa or entry clearance certificate.

If the stamp that originally gave you permission to stay permanently in the UK is in an old passport, you should carry both your old passport and your new passport when you visit here, as evidence of your settled position. If you cannot produce your original stamp, you may not be allowed to enter the UK.
You do not need to have your stamp transferred to your new passport but you can do this if you want.
The transfer cannot be done at passport control when you enter the UK. If you can show that you are entitled to return to settle here, the immigration officer at your port of entry will put an open date stamp in your new passport. You must then apply to the UK Border Agency for a residence permit to be placed in your new passport.

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