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Could a US citizen with a UK Long Term Family visa alternate 90 day periods in the UK and Switzerland indefinitely? Switzerland is a Schengen country, but the UK isn't.

Background: my mother in law is ready to retire. We live in Switzerland, her other daughter is in the UK. Our thought: she could spend 90 days here, 90 to 180 in the UK, then 90 here, or even alternate months.

Related: is there a Swiss equivalent to the Long Term Family visa that would simplify the process?

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There is no rule in the corpus of UK immigration law that requires a given interval between visits, and no rule that restricts the number of visits a person can make.

Yes, as long as any of your visits to the UK are less than 6 months in duration, you can alternate back and forth for as long as your UK visa is valid AND at the beginning of each visit, you have a successful landing interview.

Your landing interview will cover Paragraph 41 of the rules, and in your case a special focus on sub-paragraph (ii).

Note: there is a lot of old internet lore on forums from an earlier era describing a 6-month-out-of-12 rule. Ignore it, Paragraph 41 is the sole controlling reference for family visitors.

Update 6 July 2015

Paragraph 41 of the rules was abolished last April, the links point to an archived copy. The current visitor rules are at Appendix V.

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