Your options if you're in the UK illegally
If you're living illegally in the UK, you might be able to apply for leave to remain.
You can also get help returning to your home country if you choose to.
You'll need help from an immigration specialist to make the application. Don't worry, getting advice will be confidential - a specialist won't tell anybody about your query.
Get immigration advice
There are lots of ways of becoming a legal resident. An immigration specialist will decide which applies to you.
Ways to become a legal resident in the UK
Whether you can live in the UK legally will depend on your circumstances.
As an illegal resident your situation is unusual, so you won’t be able to make an application without the help of a specialist legal adviser.
You might be able to apply to stay in the UK if:
- you're aged between 18 and 24 and have lived here for more than half of your life
- returning to your home country would be dangerous
- you’ve got strong relationships in the UK
- you’ve got children in the UK
If you’ve got children living in the UK illegally, for example if they have not been registered for British citizenship or leave to remain, it’s important to register them as soon as you can.
If you can’t stay in the UK legally
If you can’t live in the UK legally but choose to remain here, life could be difficult. You might:
- be exploited at work
- struggle to find housing, as you won’t be eligible for government help
- be detained and removed from the country
Choosing to leave the UK
You can go back to your home country voluntarily with help from the government.
Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to get extra help to arrange and pay for your journey. You can call the Voluntary Departures and Assisted Voluntary Returns team to find out what help you can get.
Voluntary Departures and Assisted Voluntary Returns
Telephone: 0300 004 0202
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm
Calls cost up to 12p per minute from landlines, 3p to 45p from mobiles