leaving the country during recruitment process

How long can an applicant leave the country for during the recruitment process? I understand some elements of it have to be renewed eg pjft, medical.
I was out of the country for 11 months working in France/Portugal. It probably delayed my application a bit but other than that no problems.

From what I remember of what my AFCO told me if you're abroad for up to 6 months - no problem, 6 - 12 months they have to apply for a residency waiver, more than 12 months - look for another job. Obviously the country your visiting/working in/whatever will have some bearing on this.

The usual disclaimer applies: I could be talking a load of old arse - best bet is to check with your AFCO.
Im going to sound stupid now but oh well.... what reason is this for? and why does it depend on which different countries and different time frames?
Some countries are really bad with lots of nasty people in them and they may try to make you into a baddie just like them.

Other countries are ever so nice and the people are wonderful and always smiling, so going to live with them is positively a good thing.
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