Message for UK members only

Can anyone advise me if there is a rule that UK citizens can only travel outside the UK for no longer than 6 months at a time please?
I’m a young 65 and friends of mine in their early 70s seem to think I’m not allowed to travel o/s the UK for more than 6 months at a time. I’ve asked them what this rule is and they say it’s to do with health, pensions, tax and to check on Gov.UK sites. I get my state pension January 2023, does that make a difference to length of stay?
I’m planning to travel ‘downunder’ from October for up to 18 months so any advice would be appreciated. I’m pretty sure they’re wrong…

There are two considerations here… one is for travel and that will depend on the type of visa you get, short or longer term applications, and for instance if now traveling to Europe you’ll need to consider the Schengen type stipulations of 3 months in Europe on any one trip out of 180 days.

The other is whether you are talking about retaining tax residency (and for your pension) which does state you need to be in UK for 183 days…

If you are physically present in the UK for 183 days or more in a tax year you will be resident in the UK for that year.

BUT… there are many things to take into consideration and whether a country has reciprocal systems for tax and pension payments so I would advise checking this thoroughly for your particular circumstances (i.e. pension & health care) with an experienced advisor. I went down a rabbit hole of information when changing our residency from UK to France and I’m still confused :slight_smile:


We come back every six months now for a week or two but there were many years we just travelled. COVID changed all that. I think my longest period out of the UK was over 2 years and there was no repercussions. We made sure we had relevant visas and permissions etc. My one warning is follow all the rules and regulations to the letter of the country you are visiting even though they seem petty and stupid to you. And never joke with customs or immigration officials. At some point in their training they get their sense of humour removed.
Go for it and tell us how your doing, post lots of pictures and share any handy tips you pick up. We are heading that way in about four years. Hubbie will be 70, I’ll be 64. Life’s for living!


Thanks for this comprehensive reply Vanessa. I’m ok with the visa situations (just need to carefully check those on the travel section of website & each country’s travel conditions. Yes, I think it’s surrounding residency status. As you say, I need to thoroughly check it out. :pray:

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Thanks Elsie. The pandemic curtailed my original trip downunder, although I had managed nearly 9 months so can’t complain. I tend to post my pics on my FB page now (I did have a Wordpress blog but can’t be bothered with that now). I’ll be interested in following your travels too. Where to next?
I agree with you about Customs officers etc…

Hi @Smiley I see you’re planning to travel ‘Downunder’ from October for quite some time. Currently UK citizens must apply for an eVisitor visa which allows you to stay in Australia for up to 3 months (90 consecutive days) at a time. It has a validity of 12 months from date of issue. You would need to be popping between Australia and NZ during your time away then obtaining another visa just before the 12 months is up. Great you’re coming down for an extended visit with some happy pet sits to enjoy as well.

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Hi Temba, thank you and I am aware of the evisitor visa as got one when I was in Oz just before the pandemic, and returned from Brisbane earlier than planned as a result. I also now have to get a similar evisitor visa form NZ, which started while I was there in 2019, so didn’t need it then as had already arrived. I’m not sure I’ll be able to stay so long ‘downunder’ because of tax rules - UK residency. I’ve been to Oz 4 times already but would happily return.

I had a feeling you would know all about this visa @Smiley and now there’s a NZ one as well. Sounds like you love coming to Oz and I love going to the UK!! If you’re in Victoria at all, let me know as we might be able to meet.

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Please be mindful of the 183 rule. We’re in the middle of immigrating so are hyper aware of falling foul of this rule. Technically, a country can claim you as tax resident if you stay 183 days or more and it can be a complete nightmare to prove you’re not (and it’s up to you to prove you’re not, they don’t have to prove you are).
Just be careful…

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I’m not from the UK but I know if I spend more than 180 (?) days in the US, they will make me pay taxes there. So it might depend on what country you’re visiting.

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Thank you!

Thank you, I will