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I am a student living in London. I was given a residency permit which is leave to remain for 2 and half years. The route I was given is 10 year long residency then I can apply for ILR. This September I will apply again to extend my residency permit for another 2 and half years. This will be my first time extending the permit. I want to study medicine and so I plan to study in an EU country for a 6 year degree as an international student. So is there any way I can study outside of the UK and not affect my absence and thus my ILR application?

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To be eligible for settlement in the UK it is necessary to meet the ‘continuous residence’ rule. There may be some discretion over excess absences in compelling or compassionate circumstances, but it seems unlikely that would apply in your case.

Continuous residence is considered to be broken if the applicant has:

  • been absent from the UK for a period of more than 6 months at any one time

  • spent a total of 18 months outside the UK throughout the whole 10 year period

There are a few other circumstances in which continuous residence is not considered broken that might apply to you either now or in the future. For example, an applicant can leave the UK as a Tier 4 (General) student and return with leave as a spouse of a settled person. Continuous residence is not broken as the applicant had valid leave both when they left and returned to the UK.

Source: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/988907/long-residence-v17.0-gov-uk.pdf#page10

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