The UK Border Agency has announced that from the 1 October 2012, if any UK visa holder overstays their leave in the UK by more than 28 days, any application which is submitted for further leave will be refused.
They confirm that this change in the Immigration Rules will affect applicants applying for further leave under:
• the Points-Based System;
• all working and student routes;
• visiting routes;
• long residency routes;
• discharged HM Forces; or
• UK ancestry routes.
The UKBA states that “this change is in line with the new immigration rules coming into effect for the family migration route from 9 July 2012.”
We would advise all migrants to ensure that they apply for extensions of leave as early as is permitted by their visa, to avoid being left without proper authorisation to stay in the UK. Extra precautions should be taken to minimise the chances of rejection, because a returned application may mean a migrant is unable to re-submit within the 28 day period.
If an application is complicated, therefore, migrants should seek advice from an immigration provider before submitting their extension application in the first instance.
As stated by the UKBA, if an application for an extension of leave is rejected and the 28 day period comes to an end, the migrant will have to leave the UK and apply for entry clearance from abroad. However, again this may cause serious issues and migrants could be prevented from being able to return to the UK – for example, the new ‘cooling off’ periods imposed across all Tier 2 routes would come into play once the visa has expired.
If you have any concerns regarding how the new changes may affect you, please do not hesitate to contact us.