The proposed change (mentioned in our March bulletin), to no longer count periods of research fieldwork outside the UK against the limit on absences when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) has now been introduced. Where family members on Dependant visas have accompanied the Tier 2 visa holder during periods of research fieldwork outside the UK these periods also do not count against their limit on absences.
Tier 2 visa holders who are considering applying for ILR and close to the limit on absences from the UK should discuss this with SIT so that their employers letter can be amended to highlight that they should benefit from this new rule.
This new rule does not, unfortunately, apply to Tier 1 Exceptional Talent/Promise visa holders, or Tier 2 visa holders in other types of role.
Please direct all ILR queries to James Galloway (firstname.lastname@example.org), Angelina Pelova(email@example.com), or Tim Currie (firstname.lastname@example.org), and see our ILR pages for more information at: staffimmigration.admin.ox.ac.uk/settling-in-the-uk