It can be very easy, when you've been in the UK for many years on a visa, to forget when it expires. This is just one of the many reasons why people overstay their visa in the UK. Whatever the reason, visa overstaying is a serious issue and should not be ignored. If you are in this position, this article will help you to understand your rights and responsibilities at the end of your visa period. We will let you know the rules as they stand and offer you practical advice to help make the best of your situation if your visa has expired and you are still in the UK.
Once your visa has ended, you have 30 days to leave the country (unless you are using the 14-day "good reason" option). While there are many, often understandable reasons for overstaying, there is little the UK Visas and Immigration will do to help in this situation. One thing you must do is ensure you try to do something about the situation. As long as you do not overstay past the 30 days allowed, you will be able to apply for a new visa once you have returned to your country of origin. If you leave after this, it is likely to damage your ability to return to the UK at a later date.
It is always best to ensure you stay within the boundaries of your visa, which is especially true if you wish to make the UK your home in the long-term. While it may be tempting to try and remain in the country after your visa has expired, if you wish to stay in the UK in the future, this period of overstaying will certainly count against you.So, do not take the risk!
While there are few good reasons for overstaying your visa, UK Visas and Immigration does offer the option to apply for a new visa up to 14 days after your current visa has expired. To apply for a visa in this 14-day window, you will need to be able to prove you have a good reason for overstaying your current visa. The scope of these reasons is laid out in the visa guidance and encompasses issues such as emergency medical treatment, family bereavement or receiving a late reply from an educational institution.
While there are a few good reasons for overstaying your visa, the vast majority of reasons will not be accepted. Forgetting the date of your visa end or being too busy, for example, are not acceptable reasons. As well as having a good reason, you will also need to prove it. In the event of a medical emergency, you will need to provide a letter of proof. You will also need to provide documentation in the case of a family bereavement. These are some of the few cases where you should be able to sufficiently convince a UK Visas and Immigration official your reason for overstaying your visa is valid.
While you are able to remain in the UK while waiting for a visa decision, you may not continue to enjoy its other benefits. For instance, If you are extending a visa (such as a Tier 2 General Visa) and it expires while you are waiting for a decision, you are not permitted to continue working while awaiting the decision. While this may seem unfair, you would be taking a risk by illegally continuing to work without a visa.
If you choose to continue to work in the UK after your visa has expired, it is not only you who is committing a criminal offence - if you continue to work in the UK while awaiting a new visa, your employer may also be breaking the law. For this reason, it is important you stay on top of your visa and avoid overstaying at all costs.
As long as you have made a new visa application before your current visa expires, you will have 14 days after a refusal to lodge a new application (as long as this is allowed - you will be informed of this in your rejection letter). If you fail to make a new application or are no longer allowed to apply further, you will need to leave the country to avoid becoming a visa overstayer. If you plan on coming back to the UK later, you should avoid overstaying at all costs due to the potential damage it can incur, as your records will show all previous infractions.
If you need more help with overstaying your visa, then please get in touch. Our experienced team of specialists can help ensure you avoid overstaying while also gaining the best chance of staying in the UK for the long-term. Do not wait until it is too late, call today and speak to one of our solicitors about your specific situation.
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Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
Indefinite Leave to remain - UK Settlement and
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Citizenship Application - UK Naturalisation
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Spouse Visa - Appeals and visa refusals
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
Immigration Visa - Citizen of United Kingdom
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
UK Settlement Visa
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I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Top Notch Immigration Service
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I used Reiss Edwards’ immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
Indefinte Leave to remain - Individual Immigration - UK Settlement
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
Tier 2 Visa application - UK Work Visas
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.