Overstayed UK visa

An overstayer is a person whose UK visa has expired and they continue to remain in the country. If you enter the UK on an invalid visa, you are instead considered an illegal resident.

Overstayed your UK visa?

UK visa

Overstaying your visa in the UK

If your visa expires while you’re in the UK and you do not leave the country, you’ll be deemed an overstayer. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your visa remains valid. The Home Office will not remind you to extend your visa or notify you that your visa has expired. It is not legal to work if your visa has run out. If you need information on visa extensions read here. 

I overstayed my visa in the UK, can I return?

It’s a criminal offence to overstay your visa without reasonable cause. If your visa has expired, you must leave the UK within 30 days or you could face a ban on re-entry. 

There is a mandatory one year ban that those who try to re enter will receive if they have overstayed by more than 30 days, and try to re apply for another kind of visa. 

In 2016 the 28 day grace period for people who over stayed their visa was taken away. The UKVI felt that people were using this time to renew their visa and felt that the system was being abused. This is when the tighter 14 day period came into place. Read more about the removal of the 28 day grace period. 

Overstaying with “good reason”

If you miss your visa expiry deadline you must provide the Home Office with an acceptable reason. This can be that you were receiving hospital treatment, or you applied for another visa before your current one expired and are still waiting on a response. You will need to provide evidence to support your reason for overstaying.

Are there any exceptions to overstaying your visa?

If there is no leave to remain application, overstaying applications will normally be rejected. There is one general provision for overstaying which is 

The application was made within 14 days of the applicants leave expiring and their was good reason beyond the applicants control (or representative) provided with the application as to why the application could not be made in time. 

Paragraph 39 E of the Immigration Rules. 

This means that the late application has to be made within 14 days of the visa expiration and the Home Office must accept the person had good reason beyond their control as to why the application was late. 

The guidance provided by the Home Office includes examples of emergency medical treatment, bereavement or death of close family members, or delays in issuing the correct documentation by educational institutions. 



If you want to stay in the UK as a refugee, you must apply for asylum. Only persons who are unable to return to their home country because they fear persecution are eligible to apply for asylum.