UK Immigration Policy: 28 Days Grace Period Policy Abolished

Following the recent changes to the Immigration Rules HC667 that took effect in November 2016, the 28 days Grace Period Policy has been abolished. Previously Applicants had 28 days from the date their visa had expired to submit an application to extend their leave in the UK or to submit a fresh application . Under the new changes, Paragraph 39E has been introduced, which informs us that the new grace period to make an extension or further leave to remain application is 14 days.   

Contact us for advice on Grace Period Policy at LEXVISA Immigration Solicitors in London

Paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules – New 14 days UK Grace Period Policy

Following the recent changes to the Immigration rules, Paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules states where

(1) the application was made within 14 days of the applicant’s leave expiring and the Secretary of State considers that there was a good reason beyond the control of the applicant or their representative, provided in or with the application, why the application could not be made in-time; or

2) the application was made

(a) following the refusal of a previous application for leave which was made in-time or to which sub-paragraph (1) applied; and

(b) within 14 days of:

(i) the refusal of the previous application for leave; or

(ii) the expiry of any leave extended by section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971; or

(iii) the expiry of the time-limit for making an in-time application for administrative review or appeal (where applicable); or

(iv) any administrative review or appeal being concluded, withdrawn or abandoned or lapsing.

Abolishment of the UK Home Office’s 28 days Grace Period Policy

The 28 days Grace Period Policy, which allowed Applicants to submit further or new applications to the UK Home Office within 28 days from the date their visa had expired, has now been abolished. The key change to the 28 days Grace Period Policy is that the time frame to submit a further or new application has been reduced by half to 14 days and the applicant must 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. In our opinion, the change in the Immigration Rules has been implemented as a result of the 28 days Grace Period Policy being used and abused by UK visa applicants.

The purpose of the 28 days Grace Period Policy was to protect Applicants who may have had an application refused by the UK Home Office for minor administrative errors such as paying an incorrect fee invalidating their application or where there are exceptional circumstances as to why the application was not submitted in time. Whilst the 28 days Grace Period Policy has been significantly reduced to 14 days, the Home Office also now requires Applicants to show good reason beyond the control of the Applicant or their representative to benefit from the Grace Period Policy.

UK Home Office’s Additional Requirement to show Good Reason to benefit from the Grace Period Policy

The Home Office has removed a blanket 28 days Grace Period Policy and has introduced a new 14 days Grace Period Policy plus the Applicant must show that there was “good reason beyond the control” of the Applicant or their representative to benefit from the Grace Period Policy. Essentially, Applicants can no longer use the Grace Period as a tactical advantage from meeting any part of the Immigration Rules by benefitting from the short delay in submitting their application if they fall short of a specific requirement.

Whilst it is not yet clear what would constitute a “good reason” for failing to submit an application in time, there is likely to be a handful of cases seeking an interpretation of what constitutes a “good reason”, which will pave the way as a precedent to follow. For the present purposes, Applicants must ensure that they are able to support any good reasons for failing to submit their application in time with strong coherent evidence.

Successful Immigration Applications and Appeals

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 immigration status and the merit of your applications before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration or visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had an application refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.

We 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 successful 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.

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

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