Who’d Be An Overstayer

An “Overstayer” refers to someone who has remained in the United Kingdom beyond the expiry date of their most recent visa.  In its strictest sense it can also be used to describe someone who still has a valid visa but the reason they are in the UK has changed and they have not notified the UKBA or make a fresh application for the correct visa. The most usual example of this that we see is the student who gives up their studies well before the end of the course but remains in the UK as a full-time worker.

“Overstaying” is an immigration offence and if you find yourself in this bracket you should seek good legal advice to confirm whether there is any action you can take to regularise your status.  If not, you will have to give serious consideration to either returning to your home country, or perhaps moving onto a third country where you can fit into its immigration entry criteria.

You will be seen in a far better light if you do not overstay in the first place.  To avoid overstaying you must have a valid application in the Home Office before your most recent visa expires. However, if you find that you have overstayed then you will be seen in a far better light if you make an application voluntarily to bring yourself in line with immigration laws or alternatively, leave the country voluntarily.  You can also contact us to discuss leaving the United Kingdom voluntarily.

On the other hand it can be very difficult to get any sympathy from the UKBA in circumstances where it seems that you are only making an application to regularise your status after having been caught as an overstayer.  An example of such a scenario could be during a UKBA swoop of a workplace looking for illegal workers.  In such cases you could find yourself held in immigration detention, and ultimately removed from the United Kingdom back to your home country. 

There are different penalties which apply depending on whether you have overstayed for 28 days or more; whether you then leave the United Kingdom voluntarily and cover all the costs yourself; or whether you refuse to leave and have to be removed or deported at public expense.

The unfortunate thing is that as immigration laws become more and more stringent we will likely see a rise in the number of people who make the difficult decision to remain in the United Kingdom without permission.  Who is to blame for this?


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Rachel Toussaint is a Consultant Solicitor at Rogols Consultancy, Birmingham UK.  She is a human rights advocate especially as it relates to immigration, family law & civic duty.  She is also a consultant for small businesses and entrepreneurs. In her blog she shares legal tips to empower clients to quickly and effectively resolve their legal disputes. http://www.racheltoussaint.wordpress.com


 Images courtesy of Free Digital Photos


About Rachel Toussaint
Headed by Solicitor, Rachel Toussaint, we are a dedicated boutique niche law practice specialising in immigration for people who wish to come to the United Kingdom to visit friends or relatives; to study; to work or start a business; to join family members or people who are already in the UK and wish to stay here. We will carry out an initial free telephone assessment of your status and advise you on the best way forward to acheive your desired outcome. We have particular expertise in immigration that involves human rights and European law as it applies to the UK. Call 0121 448 9255 for your free "Immigration Status Check".

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