Overstaying in the UK can severely affect your future immigration prospects. Therefore, you should always apply to extend your stay legally before your existing visa expires. Beware that overstaying in the UK is against UK immigration laws. It is considered a criminal offence for which you can go to prison for up to four years.
Those who overstay can be deported from the UK. They may also be banned from entering the country for another 12 months or even 10 years, according to the circumstances of the case. Needless to say, a person who had to be removed by force and didn’t exit the country voluntarily will face a longer ban. Moreover, the Home Office could still refuse your future visa applications after the ban is lifted since you failed to comply with the terms and conditions of your previous visa.
What Happens To People Who Overstay Their Welcome In The UK?
Now the Immigration Rules recognize the possibility of specific circumstances in which the applicant was not able to apply for an extension at the right time before their visa expired. The Home Office could disregard the period of overstaying if you have a good reason for the delay supported by evidence. Plus, the Home Office will only do it if you submit your application within 14 days of the visa expiring. Emergency hospitalization or a close family issue are two reasons the Home Office may consider reasonable.
Keep in mind that forgetting to apply to extend your visa is not a good reason for overstaying in the country. Moreover, you will still be considered someone who overstayed their welcome under the Immigration laws even if the Home Office agrees that you had a good reason for submitting your application late. However, no action will be taken against you while your application is pending.
Interestingly, the Home Office had multiple concessions in place for those who overstayed in the UK during the pandemic due to travel restrictions. The concession means the Home Office will not consider it in your future immigration applications.
Regardless, you must submit your application before your existing visa expires, so you don’t end up overstaying in the UK.
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