Once your visa expires, how many days do you have before you must leave the UK?
There is no "grace period" within which you can lawfully overstay your visa. Each visa (other than those for settlement) has a validity date. The visa holder must leave the UK on or before the date shown on that visa, or make a valid application to extend that visa before the date shown, or they will become an overstayer.
Can you be deported if you have overstayed in the UK?
Not usually. Deportation action is applied to those who have committed offences in the UK that result in a custodial sentence of 12 months or over, or persistent offending behaviour. Whilst it is technically an offence, the simple act of overstaying is very rarely charged as one, and does not therefore usually result in a sentence of over 12 months imprisonment, so in that case, it cannot trigger automatic deportation provisions. However, the overstayer may be subject to removal action.
Is overstaying a crime in the UK?
Overstaying your visa is a criminal offence in the UK. It is important that you take appropriate action to avoid overstaying in the UK as it can have serious implications.
Can you go to jail for overstaying your visa in the UK?
Overstaying your visa is a crime, therefore, if you are found to be overstaying your visa in the UK you could face a sentence of over 12 months imprisonment.
I overstayed my visa in the UK, can I return?
Whether and when you return to the UK after overstaying is dependent on how long you overstayed your visa in the UK. For instance, if you overstayed in the UK for more than 30 days and did not leave the UK voluntarily then you could have a re-entry ban which lasts for up to 10 years.
A person has overstayed for less than 14 days before making a valid application.
The period of overstay can normally be disregarded, so there will be no effect on future immigration applications and there will be no ban.
The period of overstay is 30 days or more (or 90 days if before April 2017) and they then left the UK at their own expense.
There will be no re-entry ban.
A person overstayed and then the Home Office funded the costs of their return.
There will be a 1 year re-entry ban in most cases.
A person overstayed and after exhausting appeal or administrative review processes they left voluntarily at Home Office expense within 6 months of a removal notice.
Then a 2 year re-entry ban will apply in most cases.
A person overstayed, and after exhausting appeal or administrative review processes they left voluntarily at Home Office expense more than 6 months of a removal notice.
There will be a 5 year re-entry ban in most cases.
What are the consequences of overstaying in the UK?
As mentioned overstaying in the UK can have implications for future UK visa applications and it can result in imprisonment. However, other long-term effects of overstaying in the UK may include:
The inability to work or to claim benefits;
The inability to access the NHS whilst any new application is decided;
The need to declare the period of overstay on all future applications including applications for countries other than the UK and;
It may also prevent eligibility for an application for settlement, and citizenship being granted in a timely manner.
Can you get a visa after overstaying in the UK
You may be able to get a visa if you can prove that you couldn’t make an in-date application to renew your visa due to something beyond your control (i.e. a hospital stay). However, you must apply and state your reason for the late application within 14 days of your leave or current visa expiring.
In terms of future visa applications, overstaying in the UK can have a significant impact as it is a breach in the Immigration Rules. It is important to therefore ensure that you do not overstay in the UK, not only because it can impact future visa applications but because it is a criminal offence.
How can Paragon Law help?
It is important to note that overstaying in the UK is a serious issue and should be avoided at all costs. Individuals should ensure that they are aware of the expiration date of their visa and take the necessary steps to extend or leave the country before the expiration date.
At Paragon Law, our expert immigration lawyers can support individuals to either extend their visa or switch to another immigration route. If you need to take action before your visa expires then please contact us.