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grounds of refusal visa due to overstaying

More grounds of refusal – overstaying

In our recent post “New grounds for visa refusal” we explained how the “grounds for refusal” section of the UK Immigration Rules can prevent a person with criminal convictions from making a successful visa application or in some cases can cause the person’s visa to be revoked. 

But the grounds of refusal do not only cover criminal convictions: they also cover various other subjects, including overstaying. 

Immigration rules about overstaying come in two different places in the Immigration Rules: in one part the rules deal with migrants who are currently overstaying. For example, a migrant who submits a visa application a few days out of time has to present a “good reason” for the lateness, and if the reason is not deemed to be sufficiently good then the application is rejected. If the application is more than 14 days late it is rejected anyway, whatever the reason. There are other 14-day rules for migrants whose application has been refused, although these are rather more complex. 

The other part of the rules concerning overstaying comes in the grounds for refusal, and these cover the situation where the migrant has previous overstaying issues.

If, for example, a migrant who has a previous history of overstaying applies from outside the UK for entry clearance this may count against them. 

If they have on a previous occasion overstayed in the UK by more than 30 days they may be in trouble, depending on how long ago it was. If the overstaying finished more than 12 months ago, and if they left the UK voluntarily at their own expense, then they should be fine. Unless that is (and rather ominously) “the applicant has previously contrived in a significant to frustrate the intention, or there are other aggravating circumstances…”.

However, and very importantly, not all classes of migrants are subject to the same rules. Migrants applying for example under the Appendix FM family visa provisions or the Private Life provisions of the Immigration Rules do not get caught by all these overstaying rules and they can as it were escape from them.

The various rules about overstaying are, like most things to do with the Home Office, on the whole quite complicated. If you are planning to submit a visa application you may need to know how to avoid falling foul of them or in some cases you may need to know if you have fallen foul of them already. 

We at GSN Immigration will be able to advise you on these issues. 



Oliver Westmoreland

OISC Level 3 Immigration Adviser


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