What to do if you have overstayed your visa or leave to remain in the UK

It is advisable to ensure you renew your visa or leave to remain in the UK in time.

Have you overstayed your visa or leave to remain? If the answer is yes, then you’ll have 90 days to leave the country from the date it expired.

Please note that you can still apply for a new visa within 14 days of your old one expiring. You will however be required to prove you had a very good reason for not renewing your old visa. Failure to do so could lead to the rejection of your new visa application.

Since the Home Office will never remind you when your visa or leave to remain expires, it is upon you to check the stamp or sticker in your passport if you doubt whether you have overstayed or not.

How to apply for a new visa as an overstayer
From the date your visa or leave expires, you can apply for a new one within 14 days if you have a good reason for not renewing it in time.

In order to get help in proving you had a good reason for missing the deadline, please contact your local Citizens Advice, or a local solicitor directly. Of course it’s usually quicker to contact a local solicitor, but you may have to pay for the service.

Once you have overstayed your visa or leave, you won’t be entitled to the same rights you were entitled to before. For instance, if you were entitled to work before you overstayed, you’ll have to stop until you get a decision on your new application.

If you have overstayed your visa or leave and fail to leave voluntarily within 90 days, you could be deported.

If you leave voluntarily after 90 days, you could be banned from re-entering the UK for between 1 and 10 years. How long you’re banned for depends on:
– when you leave the UK
– whether you leave voluntarily or you’re deported
– whether you’re able to pay to go back to your home country

Your rights as an overstayer
Regardless of how long you’ve overstayed for – you can still:
– send children to school until they turn 16
– use emergency services in the UK (police, fire and ambulance)
– get essential and emergency healthcare, including treatment if you’re having a baby

Click here to search for your local Citizens Advice

Click here to search for an immigration adviser

Click here to search for a solicitor in your area.

This article has been prepared using information provided by the Citizens Advice.