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Indefinite leave to remain: calculating continuous period in UK wrote:Exceptional cases
This section tells you about the exceptional circumstances when you can grant the applicant indefinite leave to remain (ILR) outside the rules when their continuous leave is broken.
Absences of more than 180 days in a 12-month period before the date of application (in all categories) will mean the continuous period has been broken. However, you may consider the grant of indefinite leave to remain (ILR) outside the rules if the applicant provides evidence to show the excessive absence was due to serious or compelling reasons.
The applicant must provide evidence in the form of a letter which sets out full details of the compelling reason for the absence and supporting documents.
Serious or compelling reasons will vary but can include:
• serious illness of the applicant or a close relative
• a conflict
• a natural disaster, for example, volcanic eruption or tsunami
Absences of more than 180 days in any 12-month period for employment or economic activity reasons are not considered exceptional.
You may also consider granting outside the rules if an applicant provides a letter setting out reasons why they believe changes to how the 180 days are counted will cause them exceptionally harsh consequences. From 11 January 2018, the rules refer to absences in any 12-month period, whereas previously they referred to absences in separate consecutive 12 month periods.
Decisions will vary depending on individual circumstances, but relevant factors may include:
• when the periods of leave making up the continuous period were granted in relation to the rules change of 11 January 2018
• the level and pattern of the applicant’s absences from the UK during each of those periods of leave
• whether the consequences of a refusal would be exceptionally harsh, for example whether it would not be possible for them to qualify for settlement at a later date because they would be unable to apply for further extensions
You can only apply discretion when it has been authorised at senior executive officer level.
Time spent overseas due to pregnancy, or maternity, paternity or adoption-related leave is treated the same way as any other absence, that is, within the 180 days in any 12 months.