The myth of the 180 day non-rule has been debunked here on travelexchange however there is no explanation if it is perhaps an unwritten one.

We find that there are many rules and hidden requirements including funds parking and provenance of funds in granting UK visitor visas which are not explicitly spelled out. We also know that there is nothing explicit in the rules that say a visitor cannot spend more than 180 days in the previous one year in the UK.

The rules do say:

V 4.2 The applicant must satisfy the decision maker that they are a genuine visitor. This means that the applicant:

(b) will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK their main home;

Is the 180 day non-rule actually a defacto hidden rule & viewed as a violation of the above? In an article about the detention and denied landing of an Australian man to the UK, it explains the reason for his refusal as:

As a regular visitor to his family in Britain, he had already spent 180 days in the UK in the previous 12 months, and was classified as having overstayed his visa.

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    Having a firm, official 180-day-rule would imply 179 days are OK. I suspect the UK is preserving the right to say "that's too much" when a visitor wants to come close to spending more time within the UK than without. – o.m. May 25 '17 at 14:52
  • @o.m. This might be the case. However other countries I believe give an official number while still reserving their rights subsequently to deny. – Augustine of Hippo May 25 '17 at 14:59
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    The US and Canada have similar 6-months-per-visit rules with no strict limit on the total time spent in the country. That doesn't mean they won't use the total time you've been in the country as a factor in determining whether you're a genuine visitor. – phoog May 25 '17 at 16:01
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    @o.m. the rule can also work in visitors' favor. For example, if someone has spent the maximum amount of time in the Schengen area in January through March, they cannot enter, even for a 2-airport transit, until June 30th. In the UK, the absence of a strict rule means that an immigration officer can let someone in at any time, regardless of their travel history. – phoog May 26 '17 at 2:40

There is no such rule, period.

UK law states that a non-visa national, if landed, is to be issued leave to enter for a period not exceeding six months. Usually they're given this maximum period, unless only in landside transit (in which case a 48-hour leave will be issued).

The country does, however, record entries by air as well as exits electronically, and if it becomes apparent to them that a non-visa national is trying to live in the UK through frequent "visits", or perform activities they aren't allowed to, the passenger may face tougher questioning, be asked for additional evidence of bona fide intentions, or be refused entry and sent back to the port of departure.

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