My Visa has Expired – What Should I do?
If your UK visa has expired, or it will do shortly, then you need immigration legal advice from specialist immigration solicitors. You should not wait or ignore the problem.
UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors
The Home Office did not tell me my visa was due to expire
Immigration solicitors get a lot of calls from people whose visas have expired, or are about to expire, who think that the situation is OK because the Home Office has not been in contact with them. Their assumption is that if the Home Office has forgotten to remind them that their visa is about to end that they will get extra time to sort out their visa application. That is not the case.
The Home Office won't routinely remind visa holders that their visa is due to end. That’s the case whether you are in the UK on a spouse visa or a work visa, such as the skilled worker visa, or you are an entrepreneur in the UK on a start-up visa or innovator visa.
My employer did not tell me my visa was due to expire
Some people who are subject to UK immigration control are able to work in any type of employment whilst other visa holders are restricted to sponsored employment with an employer who holds a Home Office issued sponsor licence. A sponsor licence holder is under a duty to comply with sponsor licence reporting and recording duties. Whether your employer is sponsoring you or not, an employer is not under an obligation to tell you that your visa is due to expire. In addition, if your visa does expire, your employer may not be able to continue to employ you because you may no longer have the right to work and your employer will not be able to successfully complete right to work checks on you. An employer has to repeat right to work checks in cases where an employee only has limited leave to remain in the UK.
How do I know that my visa is due to expire?
Your biometric residence permit should give you your visa expiry date. Immigration solicitors recommend that you check your BRP and visa expiry date. If you still have a few months on your visa, you should get immigration legal advice now so you know if you can apply to extend your current visa, or switch visa, or, if you meet the residence requirement and eligibility criteria, apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Is there a Home Office amnesty if you stay in the UK after a visa has expired?
There is no Home Office amnesty if you stay in the UK after the expiry of your visa but, depending on your circumstances, you may be able to resolve your immigration status. The longer you leave it, there is less likelihood of being able to sort the immigration status problem out.
If the Home Office are not chasing me to leave because my visa has expired, should I leave the UK in my own time?
If your visa has expired then you are classed by the Home Office as an overstayer. This will affect your right to work and your right to rent in the UK. In addition, if you ask the Home Office for another visa, your application may be refused because of your immigration record and your overstayer status. The longer that you overstay on your visa the harder it will be to show that there were exceptional circumstances.
Is overstaying on your visa a criminal offence?
Under section 24 of the Immigration Act 1971 it is a criminal offence to overstay on your visa without reasonable cause. The Home Office guidance explains what ‘reasonable cause’ means. If convicted you will have a criminal record and this will affect your ability to get another UK visa in future.
If my visa expires how long do I have to leave the UK?
If your visa expires, you have 30 days to leave the UK on a voluntary basis, with your paying your own transport costs to leave the UK. If you do not leave within the 30 days ( or sort your immigration status out) you could face a ban on re-entry to the UK.
Is there a grace period to sort out a late visa application?
If you make a late visa application, the Home Office will disregard an overstay provided the period of overstay is less than 14 days and you have a good reason for the overstay and late visa application.
The Home Office guidance says you need to show exceptional circumstances, supported by evidence, to show that you had good reason for your delayed visa application.
Once your visa application has been submitted to the Home Office you can stay in the UK whilst your Home Office application is pending. If your visa is due to expire soon it is best to take urgent immigration advice so you can get your application submitted within the 14 day grace period.
Can I show good reason for a delayed visa application?
There are many reasons why you may have a good reason for a delayed visa application and an immigration solicitor will be able to advise you on whether your reason is likely to meet the exceptional circumstances criteria . As you only get 14 days to make a late visa application it is critical that you get expert individual immigration legal advice as soon as you can so your immigration lawyer can present the best possible case for you and support and guide you through your immigration options.
UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors