I am an EU citizen. From 2008 until Dec 2015 I lived in the UK, first as student, then employed. My understanding is that after 5 years of residency in the UK, I automatically acquired a permanent residency right analogous to indefinite leave to remain (ILR). This would be lost after living elsewhere for 2 years, ie at the end of this year.

Now I expect to start a permanent job in the UK in March 2018. Given the Brexit-uncertainties, it seems very desirable to retain my ILR.

So my question is: What exactly counts as moving back to the UK for the purpose of retaining ILR? Would say getting a flat (and paying council tax) this year suffice, even if I spend most of January and February elsewhere?

  • 2
    Students are required to have comprehensive sickness cover for their time to count towards permanent residence, and the UK has been enforcing this strictly. Apparently many are falling afoul of this because they did not know about it. Also, while permanent residence is analogous to ILR, it is distinct from it, so it is not correct to call it ILR.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 13:57

1 Answer 1


Only having a property and paying council tax will not count as residence. It is quite normal for people resident in other countries to have a holiday home here and having such does not make them UK residents.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.