What happens if you overstay your visa validity in the UK?

16 Nov 2022, 01 mins ago

You may be tempted to remain in the UK past your visa expiry date, but doing so comes with significant risks.

When your permission to stay in the UK expires, you must leave the country. This is because under the UK immigration law it is a criminal offence to knowingly overstay your visa without reasonable cause. If caught, you will be detained and possibly removed to your country of origin.

Good reason for overstaying

Under the current law, a period of 14 days of overstaying can be disregarded, provided you make a new application in this timeframe and have a good reason for the delay. You will be required to submit evidence of the reason for delay. It is at the Home Office’s discretion to accept the reason and evidence provided.

Forgetting that your permission to stay has expired due to work/study-related commitments does not suffice. Certain matters such as emergency hospitalisation, close family bereavement or an act of a third party beyond your control may be accepted, provided you can back them up with evidence.

Even if a new application is made you are still an overstayer. You cannot work and may have issues proving your right to rent until your new application has been approved.

Penalties for overstaying

The new Nationality and Borders Act 2022 sets harsher penalties for overstayers with up to four years imprisonment and/or a fine. Additionally, you may be banned from re-entering the UK for up to 5 years, depending on the length of time you have overstayed and how you eventually left the UK.

What to do if I overstay?

If you are an overstayer, it is highly recommended to seek assistance from an immigration services provider to help you decide on next steps and apply for a new visa as soon as possible. 

How Gherson can assist?

Gherson’s Immigration Team is highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an email, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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