Start typing and hit "Enter" to search.
immigration solicitors near me

What is Section 3C leave?

Having Section 3C leave under the Immigration Act 1971 means that if you submit an application to extend your stay in the UK before your visa expires, you will not be treated as an overstayer while you wait for a decision. More broadly, section 3C protects you from being an overstayer in 3 scenarios:

A person with Section 3C leave is subject to the same conditions as their most recent visa. This means that under section 3C immigration rules, you have the right to work while waiting for a decision, if your most recent visa allowed you to do so (e.g. Skilled Worker visa, UK Spouse visa).

When does section 3C apply?

If Section 3C is triggered, the period of leave granted will continue until either:

  • The individual leaves the UK
  • The individual has their Home Office application withdrawn
  • A decision is made by the Home Office on the application
  • The individual does not appeal or seek permission to appeal within the required time limit
  • An appeal is withdrawn, abandoned, or determined
  • The individual does not request an administrative review within the relevant time limit
  • An administrative review is withdrawn or determined

The decision on your UK visa application is pending

Section 3C leave will automatically apply if all of the following apply:

  1. You currently have limited leave to remain or enter the UK,
  2. You submit an application for leave (e.g. a new visa, visa extension, or ILR) before your limited leave to enter or remain expires,
  3. Your current leave expires before your new application for leave has been decided by UKVI, and
  4. Your application has not been decided or withdrawn.

However, Section 3C leave does not apply if your leave to remain in the UK has already expired or an application made to the Home Office is rejected as invalid. If a mistake led to the application being rejected as invalid and this is corrected by the applicant, the Section 3C leave will apply from when the applicant submitted their application.

You have a pending appeal

Section 3C leave will continue to apply if:

  • You have the right to bring an in-country appeal (your decision letter will tell you if you have the right of appeal), and
  • Your appeal is pending, i.e. you have lodged an appeal, and you are waiting on a decision

Importantly, to benefit from Section 3C leave during an immigration appeal, you must have had Section 3C leave when you received your decision.

An appeal is “pending” until a final decision has been made, it is withdrawn, or it is abandoned. It is important to note that for Section 3C leave to apply, any appeal must have been made in time. If permission is given to make a late appeal, Section 3C leave will apply from when the appeal was first filed.

You have a pending administrative review

Under the Section 3C guidance, your leave will continue to apply if:

  • You have the right to apply for an administrative review (i.e. if you believe that UKVI made a mistake when they decided on your application)
  • You have requested an administrative review, and you are waiting on a decision.
  • You have not made a new application for leave to remain

If you have a pending administrative review, in order for section 3C to apply, no new application for leave to remain must have been made. An administrative review is considered to be “pending” until a final decision has been made by the Home Office, it is withdrawn, or a fresh application is made.

To benefit from Section 3C leave, the administrative review application must have been submitted in time. However, if a late administrative review application is accepted by the appeal Tribunal, the Section 3C leave will apply from when the review was requested.

And finally, as with appeals, to benefit from Section 3C leave during an administrative review, you must have had Section 3C leave when you received your immigration decision.

Section 3C leave cancellation

In some cases, if leave has been extended under the Section 3C immigration rules, it may later be cancelled. Section 3C leave may be cancelled if you:

  • Don’t meet the conditions of your leave (e.g. if you apply for public funds when you are not supposed to), or
  • Used deception (e.g. if you provide false information or documents in your current or previous visa application)

If the Home Office is considering cancelling your Section 3C leave, they will take into account if you have an outstanding immigration application, if you have an outstanding appeal, or if you have an outstanding administrative review. They also have to consider whether the false information was provided due to an innocent mistake in UK visa application or intentionally.

Home Office case officers have to weigh up all factors before making the decision to cancel Section 3C leave. For this reason, in practice, Section 3C leave is rarely cancelled.

Get In Touch

Some of our Happy Client
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me

Reiss Edwards Awards

O.L

Reiss Edwards is absolutely amazing. As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that they know their stuff, gentle, responsive, care about you and not just about the money, very professional.

I mean I can go on and on! The entire team at Reiss Edwards is amazing!

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Reiss Edwards Reviews

O.L

"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

Read More

Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

Read More

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

Read More

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

Read More
Back to Top