As I recently passed the Life in the UK test and obtained a B1 english language certification I am about to start the process of applying for naturalization/british citizenship.

An issue I am having at the moment is that last year (full year) I was sent abroad from my british company for work.

According to gov.uk my absence cannot add up to 450 days in the last 5 years and within the year of application I cannot leave the country for more than 90 days.

I was advised by friends to collect all my trips abroad and put them in a excel sheet.

I don't remember all the trips I did in the last 5 years, and I don't know if there's a way for me to retrieve all of them.

I'd say normally I would travel for 15 days in a year outside the UK (for holiday purpose). Occasionally I travel for work but these never added more than 10 days a year.

I don't know if there's a proper way to check this which is normally advised, how accurate do I need to be?

So questions are:

  1. How accurate does the absence count need to be? I don't know if airlines keep my data for that long it would be hard to check I guess.
  2. If, like in my case, despite working for a UK company and pay taxes in UK I was absent for a whole year how does this affect the count?
  3. Do holidays also need to be taken into account?

Thank you.

  • 1
    See Naturalisation booklet As I read it, you have to meet both criteria (450 total absence, of which not more than 90 days in the last 12 months of the qualifying period). So eg total absence days 360 in first 4 years + 90 in the final 12 months would be ok, whereas 350 + 100 would not.
    – Traveller
    Commented Mar 2 at 18:29
  • Where do you see "or"? Can you add a link? Normally one would expect "or" in a negative statement of the requirement, because if you don't meet either one criterion or the other, you don't qualify.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 2 at 19:41
  • @phoog removed that bit. Commented Mar 2 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


How accurate does the absence need to be?

You should aim for 100% accuracy, IMHO. Home Office staff will check the list of absences you provide in your application against Home Office records and your passport(s) for any stamps showing arrival in the UK and entry/exit dates for other countries. Source: Naturalisation booklet You can make a Subject Access Request to get information on your UK immigration history.

If, like in my case, despite working for a UK company and pay taxes in UK I was absent for a whole year how does this affect the count?

Some discretion may be given for absences of longer than 90 days, including eg if the absences were an unavoidable consequence of the nature of an applicant’s work. The exceptions are described in full here

Do holidays also need to be taken into account?

Yes, if you left the UK. Only count whole days’ absences. The dates of departure from and arrival in the UK do not count as absences.

  • Is there maybe someone I can give a call to? Immigration office maybe? I just want to know how much my absence will be a problem. It is expensive and I don't want to risk rejection. Commented Mar 11 at 17:43
  • @user8469759 I highly doubt you’d get anything other than a generalised answer. For reliable advice, contact an Immigration adviser or solicitor
    – Traveller
    Commented Mar 11 at 19:37

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