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    Complex SET LR application with excessive absences


    While the recent changes to the SET LR application that took effect on April 11, 2024, have eased the stringent residence requirements, we present a recent case study demonstrating successful approval under the previous, more strict guidelines.

    Alexandra Mokrova and Josephine Smith were instructed to apply on behalf of the client for SET (LR) – Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. The applicant, who initially arrived in the UK on a Tier 4 child visa in 2013, had established residency in the UK for over 10 years. However, the application faced a significant hurdle due to the client’s absences within the qualifying period, which exceeded the permitted limit of 548 days over the last 10 years.

    To address this issue, Alexandra Mokrova first obtained a Subject Access Request from the Home Office to accurately document the client’s absences. Complicating the task was the fact that the client held multiple passports and was a citizen of more than one country. Therefore, Alexandra Mokrova, alongside Nelli Tesis, reviewed all passport stamps, conducted extensive interviews with the client, and worked to establish the exact dates of absence. Given that the client was a child upon arrival in the UK, determining these dates proved to be a complex task, but the team managed to compile a detailed table outlining the absences.

    The next step involved understanding the reasons behind these absences. The client declared significant health challenges starting from 2017, including a chronic condition that necessitated frequent hospitalization and intensive medical intervention. Another challenge arose in obtaining medical documentation from the past six years to prove this. After the client provided the medical certificates and notes from doctors, Alexandra Mokrova and Nelli Tesis compared them against the absence dates, calculating the exact number of days missed due to illness and other reasons. This process involved examining around 20 medical documents and certificates from various periods.

    The application was made with the reference to exceptional and compassionate circumstances. Alexandra Mokrova and Josephine Smith argued that the absences due to compassionate reasons should be excluded from the total count of absences as per Long Residence Guidance. After this adjustment, it was determined that the applicant had only 523 days of absences, which fell within the permitted limit.

    As a consequence, the client was granted ILR and soon will be applying to become a British national.

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