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Data sharing for Absences from UK?

A section for posts relating to applications for Naturalisation or Registration as a British Citizen. Naturalisation

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Scotlandyard
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France

Data sharing for Absences from UK?

Post by Scotlandyard » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:15 pm

Hi all, I am a French Citizen applying for U.K. citizenship having already received and held my EU Settled Status for over a year.

At the moment, the problem I am facing is regarding the "absences from UK" section that must be filled for the naturalization process. The main problem is that I have traveled a lot over the past 5 years, both for business and leisure, and really only have a rough recollection of the details of these trips!! This is especially the case for trips which happened before mid 2018 as I no longer have access to the work email with which many of those trips were booked.

Although I am trying my best by checking bank statements/old pictures - I am worried as I have heard that the UK border agency does data-sharing of your entries/exits with the Home Office. I fear that I will have missed a few of the trips I have made and then be accused of lying when the Home Office lines up what I report to them against the data they receive from the UK Border Agency!!! :shock: :shock:

Does anybody have any experience with a similar situation? Is there a way to ask the Border Agency for a printout of the same data which I could use in my application? I really do not want to have my application rejected, or worse, be banned/barred from applying again because of potential omissions :(

obormot
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Posts: 241
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Location: Glasgow
France

Re: Data sharing for Absences from UK?

Post by obormot » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:05 pm

You can try to request border information, see here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... mmigration
My experience though is that it comes back empty (even for non-EU family members of EU citizens)

If you feel that the number of days you were away is not much more then 450, you list all absences you remember, and explain in cover letter that this is approximate, and that you may not remember some dates or even miss some trips. Many EU citizens are in similar situation.
That way you cover yourself against any accusation of lying.

Reading guidance, if you think you were away between 480 and 750 days, then you might (!) be OK if you were in UK for at least 7 years and made UK your home.

Scotlandyard
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France

Re: Data sharing for Absences from UK?

Post by Scotlandyard » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:20 pm

Thanks for the reply obormot and thanks for the link. I'll try giving the Basic request a try and see if that comes back with anything useful. Perhaps it will help with to list trips outside of the EU at least?

I am fairly certain I haven't gone over 450, but its just the details that escape me entirely (especially when the Departure/Arrival date are explicitly being asked for).

I am completing the form online, and I don't see anywhere to attach a cover letter. Where best would it be to specify that my entries are approximations in this case?

Scotlandyard
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France

Re: Data sharing for Absences from UK?

Post by Scotlandyard » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:48 am

Seems rather difficult to satisfy this requirement for the request of information from the border -_- ...
Written confirmation that the photo identification for XXX is a true likeness
This written confirmation on the photo identification must use the following words:
"I certify that this is a true likeness of XXX"
It must also include the name and signature of the person certifying the copy and be dated within the last 6 months
The following people can certify the copy of this document:
  • A legal representative, registered with the Office for the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC)
  • A solicitor, barrister or chartered legal executive
  • A commissioner for oaths
  • A registered charity
You will need to select the above two boxes even if you are not able to provide a photo or photo ID.
Does anybody else have any experience with this? E.g. where their application was refused or more information was requested due to having forgotten to include a few trips?

JoeCross
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Macedonia

Re: Data sharing for Absences from UK?

Post by JoeCross » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:32 am

I do not have any experience and cannot help you, but we are in a similar boat - and I like to share something that confuses me. In the form AN-10-19, which is for naturalization, section 2.4 says:
If you have been granted indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme you do not
need to complete this section – make sure you have completed section 1.3 and then move on to
section 3
.

So, if I'm reading right, sections between 1.3 and 3 do not need to be filled?. But, section 2, or specifically, section 2.2 is about the absences.

So, does that mean that those sections are not needed? Do they have automated confirmation about absences via the EU system or something? If that's the case, then your question is answered.

obormot
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Re: Data sharing for Absences from UK?

Post by obormot » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:38 am

When I did information request, I had a copy of the passport certified at post office.
The problem however it that in experience of many people this does not give much in case of EU citizens - usually records are empty. I applied for my mother (non EU family member of EU citizen) and the only border entrance marked was her 1st ever entry into UK.
It still was an interesting reading - for example there was a stream of comments no her file by caseworkers during her first application for EEA2 - apparently 1st caseworker refused it on completely wrong grounds, but then her file was passed to a senior worker who overruled it (we did not know any of that - just got approval after 6 months waiting).

Now - you are overthinking the issue of absences by large margin. The only requirement you have to satisfy is that there is no reason to believe that you spent more then 450 days abroad.
Did you read guidance for caseworkers?
For example:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... .0-ext.pdf

If you have strong feeling that you are below 450 days, then this is what I did:
- fill absences on the online form to the best of your knowledge, starting from the latest (note that there is room for maximum 30)
- prepare a list of ALL absences separately - with comments (i.e., "approximate dates" or I visited several countries" ) - but still keeping it very brief
- prepare cover letter where you state that you do not remember all trips and all dates, but you tried to recall the best you can, and that you are pretty sure you are below 450 days.
You may add that it is "clear that you mostly were in UK" , as you had work, family obligations, activities, etc.

After you submit online form and pay, you will be asked to upload all the supporting documents - and this is where you add cover letter, spreadsheet with all your travel, etc.

Now, physical presence is the requirement for citizenship, so reporting on it cannot be skipped in application, even if you are EU.
Note that paper form AN-10-19 can only be used if you are outside main UK (i.e., in islands)

obormot
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France

Re: Data sharing for Absences from UK?

Post by obormot » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:44 am

The main thing is to list all trips for which your passport was stamped (which should be all those outside EU)

Scotlandyard
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France

Re: Data sharing for Absences from UK?

Post by Scotlandyard » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:40 pm

I appreciate the feedback!
Maybe I am indeed overthinking this matter. Perhaps it is even the case that it isn't needed for those who are applying through the settled status (as mentioned by the earlier poster!)

JoeCross
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Macedonia

Re: Data sharing for Absences from UK?

Post by JoeCross » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:18 pm

Scotlandyard wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:40 pm
I appreciate the feedback!
Maybe I am indeed overthinking this matter. Perhaps it is even the case that it isn't needed for those who are applying through the settled status (as mentioned by the earlier poster!)
Please, don't take my post for granted - I'm actually not sure my self and asking questions around. I follow this forum in the hope that someone will share his experience with this matter. And as Obormot pointed out, the form I was reading was for applying outside UK mainland, not sure about the online form - haven't seen that one yet, so it's possible to be different.

obormot
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Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:40 pm
Location: Glasgow
France

Re: Data sharing for Absences from UK?

Post by obormot » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:52 pm

I did not look carefully at paper form, but in UK one can only apply online. And, of course, they ask about absences.
Physical presence (rules of not more then 450 days abroad in last 5 years and not more then 90 in last year) is an important requirement - and people apparently can be refused with slightly more then 500 days abroad (there were such refusals reported on this forum)
Note that presence rules for ILR, PR, or settled status are different - much more days abroad are allowed.
There is also some anecdotic evidence for people bring refused when they did not mention trips for which they had stamps in their passports.
On the other hand, large fraction of EU citizens do not remember all their dates, and they ROUTINELY write in cover letter that they do not recall them in full, and that info is to the best of their knowledge.

By the way, you can create mock citizen application (or start a real one) and log off and return to it many time for months, before you actually submit it.

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