Overstaying - Is leaving the UK voluntarily Best or Should I Appeal Against Deportation?

If you have come to the UK hoping to make a new life for yourself then being told by the Home Office that you can't stay in the UK can be devastating news. It could be that your visa extension application has been refused or you have been told you can't switch to a different type of visa. In this blog we look at the option of leaving the UK voluntarily or waiting for an administrative removal order or deportation order and making an immigration appeal against deportation from the UK.


immigration appeal lawyers 

If you need advice on whether you can appeal a deportation order or if you can appeal an immigration decision our specialist team of immigration appeal solicitors can help you. Call us on 0203 959 9123

We will give you an honest opinion on your best immigration options and your appeal prospects. Our immigration appeal lawyers can represent you in all types of immigration appeal hearings and deportation cases. Call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Removal from the UK    

If you have been trying to read up online about being removed from the UK you may have come across technical terms for making people leave the UK:

  • Administrative removal 

  • Deportation order

  • Voluntary removal

  • Assisted voluntary removal.

Whilst you may think that administrative removal and deportation are the same thing, to immigration solicitors they aren’t. An administrative removal can take place if you:

  • Breach immigration Rules – for example you work in the UK whilst on a visa that doesn’t allow you to do so or

  • You have overstayed on your visa so you no longer have permission to live in the UK or

  • You have had your application to stay in the UK or visa extension application refused by the Home Office.

A deportation order can be made if you are:

  • A foreign national and

  • You have completed a prison sentence for committing a crime and you are aged over seventeen and the court recommended deportation or

  • The Home Office believes that your deportation is conducive to the public good or

  • You are the family member (husband, wife, civil partner or child if under the age of eighteen) of someone subject to a deportation order.

You may also read or hear deportation being referred to as ‘removal for the public good’, which is again Home Office terminology.

If you fear that you or a family member is at risk of either administrative removal or deportation then it is best to get expert legal advice from specialist immigration appeal lawyers as quickly as you can.

immigration appeal lawyers 

For advice on administrative removal or appealing a deportation order or immigration decision our specialist team of immigration appeal solicitors can help you. Call us on 0203 959 9123

What is the effect of a deportation order?

A deportation order requires you to leave the UK and can authorise your detention until your removal from the UK.

 If you are subject to a deportation order then it has the following effect on you:

  • It authorises the Home Office to remove you from the UK

  • It prohibits you from re-entering the UK country for as long as the deportation order is in force

  • It invalidates any visa, leave to enter the UK or leave to remain in the UK given to you before the deportation order was made or while the deportation order is in force.

Appealing a deportation order

If you are the subject of a deportation order then you may be able to challenge the decision to deport you from the UK.

The Home Office will inform you in writing of the decision to deport and it is essential that you get urgent legal advice from immigration appeal lawyers on your best options and next steps to start the appeal process. Everyone’s situation is different and that’s why it is vital to take your own legal advice.

Whilst there is no automatic legal right to appeal against a deportation order you can challenge a deportation order by:

Even if you don’t have a right of appeal an immigration appeal lawyer may advise that you apply for an administrative review. If you apply to the Home Office for an administrative review then a Home Office official (a different and more senior caseworker than the Home Office official who made the original removal decision) will review the decision and either uphold the decision or revoke it.

Should I leave the UK voluntarily rather than face a deportation or administrative removal?

It is important to take expert immigration appeal legal advice before you make the decision to leave the UK voluntarily. That is because a London immigration appeal lawyer may tell you that you have good prospects of challenging an administrative removal or deportation order on Human Rights grounds or by claiming asylum.

In other situations, for example, where an immigration appeal lawyer advises that you have little chance of success in challenging an administrative removal or deportation order, it may be in your best interests to leave the UK voluntarily.

You can decide to leave the UK voluntarily if there is no deportation order made yet or administrative removal and you have overstayed on your visa or leave to remain.

The advantage of leaving the UK voluntarily and before a deportation order is made is that if you pay for your return journey home then after one year you can apply to return to the UK. If you wait and a deportation order is made against you then you won't be able to apply to return to the UK so quickly. That is why it is best to discuss the prospects of successfully challenging a deportation order or administrative removal and the consequences of:

  • Being classed as an overstayer on your immigration record and

  • The impact on any future immigration applications.  

If you can't afford to pay for your return journey out of the UK then the government may help with the cost of your travel so that you can leave the UK voluntarily. However, if you have to accept government help with your return travel costs then this will impact on the timeframe for you to be able to make a successful new UK immigration application.

The immigration Rules say that if you get help from the government with your travel arrangements to return to your home country, you can usually apply to return to the UK:

  • After two years if you leave within six months of being told by the Home Office to leave the UK

  • After two years if your appeal or your administrative review was refused

  • After five years if you left the UK more than six months after the Home Office told you that you must leave the UK.

It is best to take legal advice from immigration appeal lawyers on your return to the UK immigration options and the earliest time that you could bring a successful immigration application as you may be eligible to apply to return to the UK more quickly than the timeframes set out above, for example:

  • If you are applying for a spouse visa as the partner of a person who is a British citizen or has Settled Status in the UK

  • If you are applying for a parent visa or family visa as the parent of a child who is living in the UK.

It is always a balancing exercise when looking at your best options on whether you should voluntarily leave the UK or appeal a Home Office decision. A specialist immigration appeal lawyer can give you an honest assessment of what is in your best interests.

immigration appeal lawyers

If you need advice on whether you can and should appeal an immigration decision to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper tribunal then our specialist team of immigration appeal solicitors can help you.

For an assessment of your best immigration options and your appeal routes call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online to discuss your immigration appeal.


Relevant People: 

For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.


We are one of the UK’s top firms for immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, Student Visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, Asylum and Human Rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.

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