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Amnesty for Visa Overstayers

Earlier in 2021, the UK goverment held a parliamentary debate considering a petition for amnesty for undocumentented migrants, the discussions curtailed how the rhetoric of inclusivity for migrants and overstayers has been thawted by the governments hostile environment policies.

The UK immigration rules currently consider overstayers as illegal immigrants as soon as their visa expires with the holder in the country without a valid reason. At current, overstayers have 30 days to leave the country from the date that their visa expires.

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has previously said that he is open to legalising the UK immigration status of some illegal immigrants, according to a report published by Bloomberg. Despite leading Britain out of the European Union partly due to concerns over high UK immigration levels, Johnson is seemingly open to an amnesty for some migrants who arrived in the UK illegally.

Recent updates on Overstayer Amnesty

Earlier in 2021, the UK goverment held a parliamentary debate considering a petition for amnesty for undocumentented migrants, the discussions curtailed how the rhetoric of inclusivity for migrants and overstayers has been thawted by the governments hostile environment policies.

Should the Conservative government grant an amnesty to some illegal immigrants it would represent a significant U-turn on decades of government and pro-Brexit rhetoric that sought to vilify immigrants.

The government’s hostile environment policy has already destroyed the lives of thousands of legal immigrants in the UK, including those wrongly caught up in the Windrush scandal. Immigration has been a highly emotive issue in the UK and the Home Office is not short of critics over its treatment of foreign nationals.

At current, there several different routes for overstayers to take, listed below, in order to stay in the country.

Our team at Westkin are ready to assist overstayers with making their status in the UK legal. We have experience successfully getting visas granted for overstayers. If you need our assistance or would like us to clarify any of the information on this page, please do get in touch for a confidential conversation.

Call our team on 0207 118 4546 to find out how we can help.

Overstayer Status Regularisation

At current you can make an application to regularise your status, if you have overstayed your visa. There is a high chance that your application will be accepted if:

  • Your children have UK residency rights as British nationals or have indefinite leave to remain.
  • Your partner is a European Economic Area (EEA) national. The citizens of EEA countries and their family members are not affected by the UK immigration law.
  • You are between 18 and 25 years old and have resided in the UK for not less than half of your life.
  • You have lived in the country for 20 years or more.
  • You prove that it is dangerous to return to your home country.
  • You prove that living in your home country would be extremely difficult.
  • You moved to the UK through your partner’s visa, and you’ve experienced domestic abuse from the partner.
  • You prove that your failure to apply for a new visa or return to your home country is a result of something that was beyond your control, for instance, hospital admission, emergency treatment in hospital, the demise of a close family member or a delayed response from a learning institution. Those are among the exceptional circumstances that the Home Office rules regard as “a good reason” for overstaying visa permission.

Exceptional Assurance

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic disruptions, the British government has also created various interventions to help the immigrants. Exceptional assurance (EA) is among the interventions.

Exceptional assurance is a legal provision by the Home Office that protects the documented UK immigrants who are unable to leave the country because of COVID-19 restrictions. The provision covers those whose Visa or leave is expiring on or before 30th September 2021 from adverse legal actions or consequences after the expiration of their Visa or leave. With this cover, you can continue to work, study or rent somewhere to live if your Visa or leave terms to allow you to do so, even after its expiration, as long as it is not beyond 30th September 2021.

However, it is worth noting that exceptional assurance doesn’t offer leave to remain. If you want the leave, you need to apply for it specifically through the Home Office at the right time, within the initial 14 days of the expiration of your Visa or previous leave.

You don’t want to be labelled an overstayer by the UK government because the consequences can be dire. But if you are already an overstayer or want help to avoid overstaying, let Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors guide you on becoming compliant to the immigration rules.

Possible Reasons for Overstaying in the UK

Besides wanting to remain in the country for reasons related to work, fun, family or investment, other reasons that might make you overstay in Britain include: 

  • Having a medical condition that puts you at a high risk of coronavirus
  • Restriction by the country you intend to travel to
  • Inability to arrange your travel on time
  • Delayed response on a new visa application 
  • Covid reasons 

The Home Office will not notify you when you’ve overstayed your visa, however remaining in the UK once your visa has expired will limit you greatly as you will be unable to work, access healthcare or use your records in any applications. You may also be flagged as an overstayer if you attempt to leave the country.

You’ll have 30 days to leave the country from the date that your visa expired. Individuals who want to remain in the UK should seek legal assistance.

Overstayers do not have the right to work in the UK and you are unable to apply for a work permit. If you want the freedom to live and work in the UK, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance.

Trusted Overstayer Immigration Lawyers

If you have overstayed your UK Visa, applying for a new visa is important. If you’re worried about what to do next, our immigration lawyers can help.

  • We’ll speak to you about your case with full confidentiality and no cost for the first conversation.
  • We’ll tell you if we think we can assist you further and help you to extend your visa.
  • We understand that every case is different and will do all we can to assist you and accommodate for your unique circumstances.

Our Immigration lawyers are experienced in helping overstayers regularise their status from illegal immigrants to lawful in the United Kingdom. Call our team on 0207 118 4546 to find out how we can help.

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