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Overstaying Visa in the UK

If you have stayed longer than you are allowed to under your visa – then you are considered to be overstaying. Overstaying in the UK, without official permission is illegal, and it can lead to many problems, including deportation.

Our team of experts at IAS can help you to understand all the UK immigration rules and regulations related to the type of UK visa you possess to avoid legal issues later on. For more information, please leave us contact us online or call us at 0333 305 9375.


Who is an Overstayer in the UK?

The UK immigration rules state that anyone who has remained in the UK (voluntarily or involuntarily) after his or her current visa expired is an overstayer. This is why it is important to know the expiry date of your visa and have appropriate knowledge of what steps to take.

There is also a chance that you will be considered an overstayer if you got your visa through fraudulent means or did not declare important information when applying to get a visa to enter the UK.

It is important to remember that it is not the duty of the Home Office to remind visa holders when a visa will expire and it is the visa holder’s responsibility to not overstay.

What is the 14 Day ‘With Good Reason’ Rule?

In 2016, the Home Office has replaced the leeway provided by the former 28-day grace period with a tougher “14-day with good reason rule.”

The Home Office will dismiss a period of overstaying under the present regulations for late applications, provided a fresh application is filed within 14 days of the prior leave ending, and the applicant can demonstrate a “good reason” for the overstay.

Valid Reasons For Overstaying Visa

What counts as a legitimate “good reason” for missing your visa’s expiration date is covered by Home Office guidance and you must be able to support your claim with proof.

Examples of Valid Reasons for Overstaying

Some of the most common examples of legitimate “good reasons” include:

  • Needing essential healthcare treatment or emergency treatment at the hospital,
  • Death or sickness of a close family member,
  • Being faced with political instability or a natural disaster that prevents traveling,
  • Unexpected travel delays due to last-minute flight cancellations.
  • Delayed response from an educational institution.

UK immigration services will not accept reasons such as overlooking the due date or being forgetting due to work issues etc.

What is Accepted as Proof?

You have to provide proof for your claim. For instance, if you use a hospital stay as a reason, then you will have to provide an official letter that details your diagnosis, admission date and discharge date.

All of the relevant documents would have to be sent together with your new visa application within the allotted 14 days.

Have you overstayed your UK visa or are close to overstaying? Contact us now for priority advice and help.

What Are the Immigration Rules Related to Overstaying in the UK?

In the UK, overstaying past the visa expiry deadline is a criminal offence. Following Section 24 of the Immigration Act of 1971, anyone who remains in the United Kingdom past the expiration of their visa or fails to abide by the terms and conditions of their visa may be convicted of an offence that is punishable by a fine or, in some circumstances, a term of imprisonment of no longer than six months.

However, this term has increased for up to four years in 2022 under the new Nationality and Borders Bill depending on the case presented.

You have 30 days (unless you abide by the 14-day “good reason” requirement) to depart the country when your visa expires. The best course of action is to ensure you keep within the parameters of your visa.

It may be tempting to attempt to stay in the UK after your visa has run out but there is a huge risk of getting deported without a proper reason for overstaying in the country and this could prove costly as well as having a long-term effect on your future immigration plans.

We can help you make the right legal decisions to avoid unnecessary complications associated with overstaying. You can contact us through the online chat feature provided on our website or call us at 0333 305 9375.

The Legal and Moral Implications of Overstaying in the UK

As per the UK immigration rules, the following are the legal and moral implications you could be subjected to in case your visa expires and you overstay your visa:

  • You may be subjected to a monetary fine, jail time, or both.
  • You risk being detained and deported from the UK.
  • You could be completely banned from re-entering the country for one to ten years.
  • You could face problems upon future visa applications for re-entering other countries due to breaking previous immigration laws in the UK.

What If Your UK Visa Expired While Waiting For Renewal?

If your visa has expired and you are awaiting the outcome of a new visa application, you are still permitted to stay in the UK.

Until a decision is reached and you are given a new visa, you must stop engaging in whatever your previous visa permitted. This is specifically true for working because continued employment in the UK beyond a visa’s expiration is illegal and can result in significant consequences.

If your employer continues to let you work while knowing your visa has expired, they could also face punishment from the Home Office.

How Can You Avoid Trouble Related to Overstaying in the UK If Your Visa Expires?

The only best way to avoid trouble related to overstaying in the UK is to take immediate action. As soon as you find out that you have stayed beyond your UK visa expiry date, get legal help from a reputable agency that can guide you on what you need to do next to clarify your legal position and prevent any significant consequences.

Our team of legal advisers at IAS can offer you emergency services to help you avoid negative outcomes. For thorough assistance, speak with our experts via the online chat feature or call us at 0333 305 9375.

Do you need UK immigration or visa support? Our team is happy to assist.

Will Overstaying a UK Visa Cause Problems to Re-enter the Country?

The problems you might encounter upon re-entering the United Kingdom after overstaying once are directly linked to the number of days you overstayed on the previous visa granted by the Home Office.

The consequences you face might not be severe if you leave the UK voluntarily within 90 days of your expiring visa with exceptional circumstances to overstay.

On the other hand, if you stay above 90 days on an expiring visa, there is a chance that the consequences you face will be pretty serious. Since your name will be recorded in the system, you could get a re-entry ban against your passport as per UK immigration law.

Additionally, you could also face issues obtaining future UK visas as well as for other countries.

If you leave voluntarily, there is a chance to get leverage even if you stay beyond 90 days but have a reasonable cause to overstay your UK visa.

How can IAS Help?

We can help clients with visa applications and provide legal counsel services to help with various immigration-related problems that might arise.

Our team of skilled and experienced experts can provide you with step-by-step guidance on an expired visa as per the most current UK immigration rules.

For advice, please speak with our experts via the online chat feature available on the website or give us a call at 0333 305 9375.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, if you leave the UK voluntarily and provide the Home Office with a solid reason for overstaying your previous UK visa, there is a high chance you will get a new visa.

You must apply for a new visa from a country where you have legal permission to stay, such as your home country. Application for a visa renewal while staying in the UK is only allowed if it is done ahead of time.

The best solution would be to seek legal advice to ensure you follow the correct procedures and avoid any severe consequences during re entry or future UK immigration applications.

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