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McGill & Co is a Scottish immigration law firm specialising in UK immigration, nationality and refugee law.

Changes to the rules for overstayers

13 July 2018 Iain Halliday Immigration

In November 2016 the Home Office reduced the grace period for anyone making an application after their visa has expired from 28 days to 14 days. A new requirement to have a “good reason” for failing to apply before the visa expiry was also introduced.

This was a predominantly negative change to the rules, making it more difficult to succeed where an application is submitted out of time. However, as I noted at the time:

“One small category of people will actually benefit from the change: those who make an out of time application, which is subsequently refused. Prior to the 24 November 2016 such people would not have been able to benefit from the 28 day grace period.”

However, following the changes in November 2016, these people could benefit from the 14 day grace period. Essentially applicants were permitted two bites of the cherry. Following refusal of an application submitted (with good reason) no more than 14 days before the visa expiry you could submit anther application, within 14 days of that refusal, and still have this treated as being in time. This has now changed.

On 6 July 2018 the Home Office amended the rules to get rid of this unintended advantage. The Explanatory Memorandum accompanying the Statement of Changes to the rules confirms that it was never the intention to allow applicants to make a second out of time application. The wording of the relevant provision has therefore been changed. As such, as was the case before 24 November 2016, applicants now only have one chance after missing their visa expiry to have their application treated as having been made in time.

If you have remained in the UK after the expiry of your visa and would like to make an application to the Home Office contact us today to find out more about how we can help.

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