Points Based System migrants lodging an application for ILR are prohibited from leaving Britain for more than 180 days in any 12 months during the qualifying period. Under previous rules, PBS dependents were not subject to this legislation.
However, following the recent changes, the 180-day rule has been extended to dependent partners (spouses, civil partners and unmarried partners) of those in the UK under the PBS, including Tier 1 and Tier 2 Visa holders. This change is applicable to partners who are granted new periods of leave after 11 January, 2018.
Effectively, what this means is that any absences from the UK before 11 January, 2018 will not be subject to the new rule, but absences after this date will be. Meanwhile, dependent family members filing an application after 11 January, 2018 will be required to prove that their relationship to the main applicant is not only ‘active’, but genuine.