New Immigration Rules for Overstayers in UK 2021

New-Immigration-Rules-for-Overstayers-in-UK-2021

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New Immigration Rules for Overstayers in UK 2021

According to the UK immigration rules, an overstayer is someone whose permission to remain in the UK has expired while still in the country. In this article we discuss the new immigration rules for overstayers in UK 2021. 

Are you planning to move to the United Kingdom? There are various reasons that can trigger your interest in this great country. The fact that the UK is among the best places to work in the world, you might want to move there to pursue better job opportunities. Besides, there’s plenty of investment opportunities in the country.  

Hosting some of the greatest museums, art galleries, sports events, music scenes and theatres in the world, the UK is also an amazing destination for tourists who like exploring diverse arts and cultures. 

Students also account for a significant percentage of UK immigrants. If you want to enrol at a world-class university or school with high, prestigious academic standards, you might consider one of the UK universities. 

Additionally, the beauty of Great Britain is breathtaking, and the natives are very hospitable. 

Better still, the application process for a UK visitor Visa is clear and easy to follow. In case of a challenge along the way, the help of a reputable immigration solicitor, will make the process extremely easy. 

Considering all these good experiences, an immigrant might be tempted to extend their stay in the United Kingdom. In such a case, you can apply for leave to remain in the country through the Home Office, the UK ministerial department that’s in charge of immigration, security as well as law and order. Otherwise, you’ll be considered an overstayer.  

Staying in Britain beyond the period stipulated on your leave is also considered as overstaying, and the rules are always changing so it is important to stay up to date with the new immigration rules for overstayers in UK 2021 or ask our team of immigration lawyers London, if in doubt. 

Possible Reasons for Overstaying in the UK

Besides wanting to remain in the country for reasons related to work, fun, family or investment, other reasons that might make you overstay in Britain include: 

  • Having a medical condition that puts you at a high risk of coronavirus
  • Restriction by the country you intend to travel to
  • Inability to arrange your travel on time
  • Delayed response on a new visa application 
  • Covid reasons 

Who is an Overstayer in the UK?

According to the UK immigration rules, an overstayer is someone whose UK visa or leave period has expired while still in the country. 

Additionally, as an immigrant, you can be treated as an overstayer if your Visa has been curtailed and you overstay beyond the time limit given by the Home Office. For example: – a foreign national marries a British citizen, is granted 2.5 years leave to remain. British husband reports the wife to the Home Office alleging she wanted to marry him only for the Visa. The Home Office writes to the wife, curtailing her Visa to expire in 4 weeks. If she stays here after the four weeks have expired, she will be an overstayer. 

It is worth noting that you won’t receive a notification from the Home Office regarding the expiry of your Visa. It is your duty, as a UK visa holder, to ensure that you’re in the loop concerning the status of your Visa.

The UK law prohibits immigrants from overstaying in the country. You’re supposed to leave for your home country or apply for leave to remain in the UK before the expiry date. You should make the application to extend your Visa before your Visa expires, or if you have been refused, you can make a fresh application no later than 14 days after the refusal of your Visa, or if you have a right of appeal and don’t want to make a fresh application, then you appeal within 14 days of the refusal.

If you choose to return to your home country upon the expiration of your Visa, you have to do so voluntarily and at your own expense within the first 30 days after the expiry. Otherwise, you’ll lose a lot of immigrant rights. The initial 60-day grace period provision was reduced to 30 days under Paragraphs A320 and 320(7B) of the Immigration Rules. 

Consequences of Overstaying 

The immigration rules consider you as an illegal immigrant the moment you overstay on your UK visa for no good reason. With reference to Section 24 of the Immigration Act 1971, overstaying your Visa without reasonable cause is a criminal offence. 

As an illegal immigrant, you are vulnerable to various hardships, including detention, forceful removal from the country, overexploitation at the workplace, and struggle to find decent housing, among other crucial services. 

Additionally, overstaying comes as a detriment to your future applications for UK government services. For instance, being an illegal migrant, your official application to extend your stay in the country will not be accepted unless there are very compassionate and compelling circumstances. Even worse, you don’t have the right to challenge the decision by appealing to the independent Immigration Tribunal

In the UK, if you overstay for more than 90 days, there are high chances that you will be banned or barred from re-entering the UK for not less than one year.

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Overstayer Status Regularization
If, unfortunately, you’ve already overstayed, all is not lost; you can make an application to regularize your status. There is a high chance that your application will be accepted if:

Your children have UK residency rights. The children could be British nationals or have indefinite leave to remain.

Your partner is a European Economic Area (EEA) national. The citizens of EEA countries and their family members are not affected by the UK immigration law. 

  • You are between 18 and 25 years old and have resided in the UK for not less than half of your life.  
  • You have lived in the country for not less than 20 years. 
  • You prove that it is dangerous to return to your home country.
  • You prove that living in your home country would be extremely difficult. 
  • You moved to the UK through your partner’s visa, and you’ve experienced domestic abuse from the partner. 
  • You prove that your failure to apply for a new visa or return to your home country is a result of something that was beyond your control, for instance, hospital admission, emergency treatment in hospital, the demise of a close family member or a delayed response from a learning institution. Those are among the exceptional circumstances that the Home Office rules regard as “a good reason” for overstaying visa permission.

Exceptional Assurance

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic disruptions, the British government has created various interventions to help the immigrants. Exceptional assurance (EA) is among the interventions. 

Exceptional assurance is a legal provision by the Home Office that protects the documented UK immigrants who are unable to leave the country because of COVID-19 restrictions. The provision covers those whose Visa or leave is expiring on or before 30th September 2021 from adverse legal actions or consequences after the expiration of their Visa or leave. With this cover, you can continue to work, study or rent somewhere to live if your Visa or leave terms to allow you to do so, even after its expiration, as long as it is not beyond 30th September 2021.  

However, it is worth noting that exceptional assurance doesn’t offer leave to remain. If you want the leave, you need to apply for it specifically through the Home Office at the right time, within the initial 14 days of the expiration of your Visa or previous leave. 

You don’t want to be labelled an overstayer by the UK government because the consequences can be dire. But if you are already an overstayer or want help to avoid overstaying, let Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors guide you on becoming compliant to the immigration rules. 

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    Neither Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors ltd, nor their employees, agents, consultants or assignees, accept any liability based on the contents of written articles which are meant for guidance only and not as legal advice. We advise all readers to take professional advice before acting. If you would like to consult with a professional lawyer or solicitor to discuss your case, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.