With so many of our member parents living overseas, solicitor and immigration specialist Jenny Harvey talks to us about the implications of buying a home in the UK and what an owner should be aware of.
So does ownership of a home in the UK mean I can live there? In a nutshell, no.
Ownership of property in the UK does not automatically entitle its owner to live in it, nor even to visit the UK.
You may well be able to spend time here as a visitor but you must be careful when arriving as a visitor or when applying for a visit visa not to give immigration the impression that you are coming here to “ live.” The fact that you own property could make immigration suspicious that you are planning to live here. You will need to be ready to reassure them that you have no intention of doing so and that you have strong ties in your own country- property, a job, family and so on.
Even making lots of short visits could give the impression to immigration that you are really living here and at some point you are likely to be questioned and possibly even denied entry.
There is no firm rule as to how much time you can spend in the UK as a visitor. Usually I would advise a maximum of six months per year. You should always be ready to show that you intend to leave at the end of the visit – a return ticket is important as is confirmation that you have reasons to leave.
There are strict rules about what you can do whilst here as a visitor too, probably the most important one being that you will not be able to work.
There may be other ways in which you WOULD be able to come and live in the UK though, for example as an entrepreneur or as an investor. Parents with a child at an independent fee-paying day school may be eligible to live here until the child is twelve years old.
If you would like to know more about coming to the UK as a visitor, applying for a visitor’s visa or to discuss any other immigration questions you can contact Jenny via firstname.lastname@example.org or www.jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk