The consequences of overstaying in the United Kingdom are harsh and severe, but still, hundreds and thousands of people choose to overstay on their visas. Truth of the matter is that they can seek help to fix their immigration status; they simply need to know where to go for such help.
According to a TheGuardian.com report, in Britain alone, there are about 300,000 migrants who have overstayed their visas and whose whereabouts are unidentified. This was the shocking discovery made after piles of boxes unopened for years were found in Home Office buildings in Sheffield. Borders and Immigration chief inspector John Vine further disclosed that an additional 223,600 files of overstaying foreign national, all dated before December 2008, were also found. After a flagship Home Office scheme, only about 0.73% of illegal immigrants who have overstayed have voluntarily left the country.
Some illegal stayers also come from the population of international students who have difficulties transferring to new schools due to financial and visa restrictions. Most of those who lose their money cannot go home in shame of facing their families empty-handed and the only way they can recover from this is to overstay and work illegally.
London immigration solicitors explain that overstaying is considered a criminal offence and therefore denies the person the right to legally work or be self-employed in the country. In fact, even the employer of an overstaying immigrant will not be afforded any defence against the sanction for illegal work, and can be fined up to £10,000 or higher.
To avoid further problems, the concerned party will have to send the Home Office an application within 28 days of their visa expiring so that they will not be regarded as overstaying, subject to the Home Office’s decision. Beyond that is mandatory refusal. Exceptional circumstances such as fire, theft, travel, postal delays do apply as well, but require proof.
The overstayer’s automatic right of appeal to the independent Immigration Tribunal shall be forfeited if his application is refused. The only remedy is a judicial review in the Court Session of Scotland or Court of Appeal in England. Still, this puts the overstayers to no advantage given the length of time and the fact that they don’t earn money because they can’t work.
If you find yourself in this situation, seek urgent legal assistance. A London immigration lawyer from firms like Powell Spencer & Partners offers professional advice on how you can clear your immigration or nationality status so you can sleep soundly at night, without the fear that Home Office may come knocking on your door in the morning.
(Source: Less than 1% of overstaying immigrants left Britain under flagship scheme, report says, Telegraph.co.uk, December 17, 2014)