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27 May 2020

What to do if you have overstayed your UK Visa

3 mins

I have overstayed my visa. Can I apply for a UK visa from within the UK?

  • You must make an application or take steps to leave the UK as soon as possible. We would recommend you take advice immediately from a solicitor
  • You can only apply for certain types of visa from within the UK if you do not have leave to remain or have overstayed. These are mainly on asylum grounds due to a risk you face in your home country, or visa applications based on family life or on your length of residence in the UK 
  • For other types of visa, you must normally leave the UK and return to your home country to make the application. In certain set circumstances, the Home Office will accept an application from within the UK if you apply within 14 days of your previous visa expiring

Can I be removed from the UK if overstay my visa?

Yes. You can be removed from the UK if you do not have an application pending with the Home Office or an ongoing appeal against the refusal of an application. It is therefore very important to seek advice and/or make an application as soon as possible. 

Can I be detained if I overstay my UK visa?

You can be detained if you overstay your visa, subject to certain requirements and exceptions.  

Will it impact on any future visa application if I overstay?

It may have an impact on a future visa application if you overstay. It will depend on the reason(s) for the overstay, how long you overstayed and the type of application that you are making. It will be important to address the period overstaying in any application that you make. For some types of visa applications made from abroad, if you have overstayed for more than 28 days in the UK, the application will automatically be refused for 12 months. However, this does not apply to all types of UK visa application.

I have lived in the UK unlawfully for a long time. Is it possible to make a UK visa application in the UK based on long residence?

You can apply for a UK visa if you are an adult and have lived in the UK continuously for 20 years or over. If you are an adult, you can also apply for a visa if you have lived in the UK for less than 20 years, if there are very significant obstacles for you to be able to integrate into your home country if you had to return, or if you are aged between 18 and 25 and have spent more than half your life in the UK.

I am under 18 but have overstayed. Can I apply for a visa based on the time I have spent in the UK?

If you are under 18 and have lived in the UK for seven years or more, you may be able to apply for limited leave to remain if it is ‘unreasonable’ to expect you to return to your home country. There is a lot of guidance on what is ‘reasonable’ and we would recommend seeking advice about this. 

If you have an enquiry regarding your immigration status in the UK please contact our experts in the Bindmans LLP immigration team.

How can we help you?

We are here to help. If you have any questions for us, please get in touch below.