I've come across this webpage
stating that:

you cannot be outside of the UK for more than 90 days in any 12-month period in the five years preceding your naturalisation application

This is not aligned with any other source I found, including the Guide AN which states:

To satisfy the residence requirement you should not have been absent for more than 90 days in the last 12 months.
If you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen the total number of days absence for the whole 3-year period should not exceed 270.
Otherwise, you should not have been outside the UK for more than 450 days in the 5-year qualifying period.

Absences totaling more than 90 days seem to be allowed as long as they are not within the last 12 months

One more interesting statement is made in the document:
Nationality policy: Naturalisation as a British citizen by discretion
This guidance tells Home Office staff how to consider applications for naturalisation as a British citizen
Quoted from section: Future intentions requirement
subsection: Principal home in the UK

If applicants say their intention is to have their principal home in the UK, you should accept that they meet the requirement if they:
there is no information to cast doubt on their intention, for example:
a recent absence from the UK for a period of 6 months or more

This is indirectly saying that it would be ok an absence up to almost six months, it obviously wouldn't have to completely fall within the last year

  • You'd need to show more context. For example, EU citizen or not makes a huge difference.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 10:41
  • I don't see those as "not aligned", 90 days in a 12 month period for 5 years can still mean up to 450 days in the 5 year period (90 days per year * 5 years). 270 days is 90 * 3 years. And the first line in the second quote matches the first quote.
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 19:22
  • @RonBeyer: You breach "90 days in any 12 month period" if you leave May, June, July one year and April, May, June the next year - because you are gone 120 days in the 12 month period July to June. So this is a lot stricter. And you can't stay away 270 or 450 consecutive days.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 19:57
  • 1
    @gnasher729 The book doesn't mention anything about consecutive days. The first one says you shouldn't stay out more than 90 days in a 12 month period, the book says you shouldn't 270 days in a 3 year period or 450 days in a 5 year period. Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I don't see it.
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 22:55
  • 1
    @gnasher729 : my question assumes that any status like ILR or Permanent Residence or Settled has already been achieved. For Naturalisation I don't seem to find any reference on the country of origin, they just ask whether you have been a "good resident". Said that, I'm a EU citizen
    – Claudio
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


The "Booklet AN" is an official document, released or updated March 2019. The information at Sable International is more a throwaway comment - they are discussing spouse visa rules in detail, and just say "by the way, the rules for naturalisation are different". So normally I would trust the "Booklet AN" more.

To be on the safe side, avoid leaving over 90 days in any consecutive 12 month period. Knowing the UK home office and how they love to mess up people's lives, I wouldn't trust even official advice from them and would stay on the safe side if at all possible.

  • 1
    Better safe than sorry, always. Problem is we all have our lives to get on with and it's very hard to put everything on hold for one year. Guide AN says that they will disregard absences exceeding 10 days in the last year and 30 days in the 5 years period. There is also the excerpt from Nationality policy which I added in my question. After all, they don't seem to be that fussy about this requirement
    – Claudio
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 18:31

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