Updated Policy Guidance for Overstayers in the UK

On Monday 5 August 2019, the Home Office released updated policy guidance for applications from overstayers in the UK. Being classed as an overstayer can make life difficult to live as your basic rights to work, rent and bank can be taken away, and the prospect of being detained and deported is almost guaranteed. LEXVISA has a great deal of experience in successfully making applications for leave to remain for Applicants who have no legal status in the UK. It can be a daunting task to go about legalising your status in the UK; sometimes after many years, but our Immigration Team are happy to arrange an initial consultation with our Solicitors in order to discuss your circumstances in more detail so we can fully advise on how we can assist with your application.   

What is a Refusal on the Grounds of Overstaying?

Any applicant who is applying for leave to remain must not have remained in the UK after the expiry of their original grant of leave, on the date of their application. Remaining in the UK after leave to remain has expired is commonly known as overstaying. Being an overstayer means a person no longer has legal immigration status in the UK, which takes away their right to work, rent and bank.

Since 24 November 2016, the 28 ‘Grace Period’ has been abolished and now Applicants have only 14 days to submit a fresh application or extension application after that leave to remain has expired or application has been refused. Submitting an application within this time will mean the Applicant will not be considered to be an overstayer if they can show there was “good reason beyond the control” of the Applicant or their representative as to why the application could not be submitted in time. This exception is established under paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules. In calculating the first day of the 14 day grace period, it usually begins on the first day after the day the Applicant’s leave has expired. This is unless the Applicant has submitted an in-time application which has not been decided before the expiry of their current leave.

What does the updated Policy Guidance for applications from Overstayers say?

The updated policy guidance covers the following visa routes:

  • All work and study applications, including those made under the points-based system;
  • Visitor visas;
  • Long-residency applications;
  • UK ancestry applications;
  • Most discharged Her Majesty’s (HM) forces
  • Family-based applications (except certain categories including bereaved partners, victims of domestic violence and children)

However, applications for overstayers does not include dependants applying for leave to enter or remain as the family member of a serving HM forces member, those applying under an armed forces concession (i.e.  Gurkhas discharged before July 1997 applying under the special discretionary arrangements) and applications for Administrative Review under Appendix AR of the Immigration Rules.

The guidance includes example cases of where an application as an overstayer may be successful and examples of exceptional circumstances.

If you are an overstayer in the UK and you want to legalise your status, contact LEXVISA Immigration Team to arrange a consultation with one of our specialist solicitors.

Using Legal Representation to submit an application as a UK Overstayer

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on the law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with making an application as an overstayer to the UK Home Office. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the UK Home Office requirements and meet the UK Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the UK Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Immigration & Visa application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Visa Applications for Overstayers in the UK

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting an application as an overstayer before your application even reaches the UK Home Office Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of any UK Visa and ensure that you meet all of the relevant rules.

Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful UK Visas and Immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss your options.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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