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If you've overstayed your visa or leave

This advice applies to Scotland

If you’ve overstayed your visa or leave, you'll have 30 days to leave the country from the date it expired.

If you applied for a new visa before your old one expired, you can stay in the UK until you get a decision.

You might still be able to apply for a new visa within 14 days of your old one expiring.

You'll need to prove you had a very good reason for not renewing your old visa - so it's best to renew in time if you still can. 

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

If there was a reason you missed the deadline

If you can show the reason for not renewing your visa in time was something you had no control over, you might still be able to apply for a new one. 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. Contact your local Citizens Advice, or contact a local solicitor directly- it’s usually quicker to contact a local solicitor, but you may have to pay. 

You won't be entitled to the same rights if you overstay - for example if you were entitled to work before you overstayed, you'll have to stop.

Leaving the UK

If you don’t leave voluntarily within 30 days, you could 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 pay to go back 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)
  • get essential and emergency healthcare, including treatment if you’re having a baby
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