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If you've overstayed your visa or leave

This advice applies to England

If you’ve stayed longer than you're allowed to under your visa or leave, this is called overstaying. You'll have 30 days to leave the country from the date it expired. If you’re an overstayer and want to stay in the UK, you should check what you can do.

If you applied for a new visa before your old one expired, you can stay in the UK until you get a decision. You won’t be an overstayer if your application’s valid.

Coronavirus - staying longer in the UK

If your visa expires between 24 January and 31 July 2020, you must contact the Home Office. You’ll be allowed to stay in the UK until 31 July 2020 if you can’t leave because of travel restrictions or self-isolation.

You could also switch to a visa that allows you to stay after 31 July 2020.

Find out how to contact the Home Office and stay for longer on GOV.UK.

The Home Office won't remind you when your visa or leave expires. Check your biometric residence permit or any stamp or sticker in your passport if you’re not sure if you’ve overstayed.

You might also be treated as an overstayer if you:

  • got your visa by fraud or you used false documents

  • didn’t mention something that could have led to your visa being refused, like having a criminal record

If you’ve applied to stay for longer

If you applied for a new visa before your old one expired, you can stay in the UK until you get a decision. You won’t be an overstayer if your application’s valid.

If you’re the non-EEA family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen

You can check what countries are in the European Economic Area (EEA) if you're not sure. 

If you applied for pre-settled or settled status before your family permit, residence card or visa expired, you can stay in the UK until you get a decision. You won’t be an overstayer if your application’s valid.

If you applied for a residence card and your family permit or visa expires after you applied, you’ll be an overstayer from the expiry date on your permit.

Find out if you qualify as a family member of an EU, European Economic Area (EEA) EEA or Swiss citizen and what you can do to stay in the UK.

If there was a reason you missed the deadline

You might still be able to apply for a new visa if you can prove you couldn’t renew your visa in time because of something you had no control over - like if you were in hospital. You’ll have to apply and give your reason within 14 days of the date your visa or leave expired.

It's best to get help proving you had a good reason for missing the deadline. Read more about finding an immigration specialist. Using a specialist might be quicker but you may have to pay. 

You won't be entitled to the same rights if you overstay even if you apply within 14 days of your leave expiring. For example if you were entitled to work before you overstayed, you won't be allowed to anymore.

Leaving the UK

If you don’t leave voluntarily within 30 days of your visa or leave expiring, you could be deported. Check what to do if you're going to be deported

If you leave after 30 days, you could be banned from re-entering the UK for between 1 and 10 years. How long you’re banned for depends on:

  • when you leave the UK
  • whether you leave voluntarily or you’re deported
  • whether you’re able to afford the cost of returning to your home country

Your rights as an overstayer

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve overstayed for - you can still:

  • send children to school until they turn 16
  • use emergency services in the UK (police, fire and ambulance)

You can also get essential and emergency healthcare, including treatment if you’re having a baby. 

You might be charged for some treatment after receiving it. Check when you might have to pay for your treatment.

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