What Does Visa Curtailment Mean? banner


What Does Visa Curtailment Mean?

  • Posted on

Immigration solicitors are used to panicked calls about visas, from queries about visa conditions, visa length, and whether the visa can be extended to questions about curtailment.

If your visa is being curtailed, and you want to stay in the UK, you need urgent immigration legal advice on your best visa options. Avoiding the issue won't make it go away.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors 

For advice on visa curtailment and immigration law call the expert London immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

What does visa curtailment mean?

Visa curtailment means your visa is being cancelled early. If the Home Office contacts you to let you know that your visa is ending early they may refer to your visa being cancelled rather than curtailed. However, the two words mean essentially the same thing and, in some situations, Home Office officials still refer to visa curtailment.

Why is my visa ending early?

If the Home Office has told you that your visa is ending early then it isn’t necessarily down to anything you have done. You may be completely blameless. For example, you may be in the UK on a skilled worker visa and your sponsoring employer has had their sponsor licence revoked because they failed to comply with their sponsor licence duties. If a sponsor licence is revoked by the Home Office, then one consequence is that the sponsored employees can no longer continue to work for the firm that sponsors them.

Our immigration solicitors know that it is tough to be told that your visa is ending when you have not broken your visa conditions and you have not fallen foul of the immigration rules. It also feels unfair. However, even though it is tempting to ignore the Home Office notice because you are not the one at fault, you should not do that. That’s because if you stay in the UK after your visa has ended you will struggle to successfully apply to switch to a new visa. In addition, if you make a new visa application from overseas at a later date the Home Office may refuse your visa application because of your immigration record.

In the scenario of your sponsoring employer losing their sponsor licence, there are things that you can do to stay in the UK but you need to act quickly. Your options include switching to a visa where you do not need a sponsoring employer or finding a new sponsoring employer and securing another skilled worker visa whilst you are still in the UK.

Spouse visas ending early

Your spouse visa or family visa will be cancelled if your relationship ends. You are under a duty to tell the Home Office if you separate from your sponsoring partner or if they pass away. Whilst a family separation or bereavement is a really tough time it is best to be aware of the need to let the Home Office know so that your immigration record is not affected by the Home Office finding out from other sources.

If a family visa ends early then you have options if you don’t want to leave the UK. Those options include:

  • Applying for indefinite leave to remain if your relationship ended because of domestic violence – you don’t need to meet the 5-year residence requirement to apply for ILR if you are using the domestic violence concession
  • Applying for indefinite leave to remain if your sponsoring partner has passed away. Again, you don’t need to meet the 5-year residence requirement if you are applying for ILR under this concession
  • Applying to switch visa to a visa where you do not need a sponsoring partner. For example, you may have the skills or experience to apply for a job with a sponsoring employer who will sponsor your skilled worker visa or health and care worker visa application
  • Applying to stay in the UK because your child was born in the UK

Visa conditions and curtailment of visa

If you do not comply with the conditions on your visa then the Home Office may end your visa early. For example, if you are an international student in the UK on a student visa your visa could be cancelled if you ignore the visa rules and work full-time rather than on a part-time basis in accordance with your visa conditions. Likewise, your visa could be curtailed if you stop going to college or engaging in the study and the educational process.

Immigration rule breaches, offending and visa cancellation

The Home Office can cancel a visa where:

  • Dishonesty in the visa application comes to light. For example, providing false information about skills or experience to qualify for a skilled worker visa
  • There is a conviction for a serious criminal offence
  • There is a serious breach of immigration rules
  • Presence in the UK is deemed to be not conducive to the public good. For example, where there are security-related concerns

Whatever the reasons behind the Home Office letter notifying you that your visa is being curtailed it is best to take urgent immigration law legal advice from specialist immigration lawyers on your visa options.

How long can you stay in the UK if your visa is curtailed?

If your visa is curtailed then you may have to leave the UK immediately or you may get up to 60 days to leave. The decision on timescale is down to the Home Office. For example, if you have ended your relationship with your sponsoring partner or you have been made redundant from your employment with a sponsoring employer you will normally get 60 days to leave unless there are already less than 60 days left on your visa. In some situations, you can ask the Home Office to exercise discretion and give you longer. For example, when a relative in the UK is terminally ill.

If you want to ask for permission to stay longer than the visa cancellation date or if you want to challenge the curtailment you need urgent immigration law advice. You may be able to show that the Home Office made an error in sending you the notice of curtailment or in limited circumstances you may have a right to appeal. Alternatively, you may have the option to switch visas. A switch application should be submitted before your current visa is cancelled because if you remain in the UK without a pending visa application then you are classed as an overstayer.

Overstayer status could result in any further visa application being refused and could also mean the Home Office place a UK re-entry ban on you. Ignoring a Home Office curtailment letter could therefore have serious long-term consequences for you.  That’s why it is best to understand your alternate visa options.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors 

For advice on visa curtailment and immigration law call the expert London immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Related Posts

OTS Solicitors Celebrate the 2023 Legal 500 London Immigration Rankings

Business Immigration Solicitor Hans Sok Appadu Nominated for Rising Star Award 2022

Teni Shahiean, CEO of OTS Solicitors Features in Top 25 UGlobal Immigration Magazine Award Winners for 2021 in the Immigration Attorney Category

    Get in touch

    Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.