Staying in the UK after your Work Visa expires is illegal if the proper action isn’t taken, all actions should be taken before your current visa expires because if you haven’t prepared one of the options you will be required to leave as soon as your visa expires.. When deciding whether to stay in the UK after a work visa expires, there are a few things to consider. Being able to stay in the UK after your visa expires depends on several things, including the nature of your visa and your personal situation.

If you still want to stay in the UK, you can apply for a visa extension, change to a new visa category, or apply for settlement status if your work visa has expired. If you are unable to do any of the above you will be required to leave the UK or you could be completely banned from re-entering the country for one to ten years. Additionally you could face problems upon future visa applications for re-entering other countries due to breaking previous immigration laws in the UK.

Visa Extension

Your visa extension might be possible if you are still working in your current position and your company is prepared to sponsor you. But before your current visa expires, you must submit an application for an extension. Depending on your visa type, you might be able to extend your stay for up to 5 years. If a visa extension is impossible for you, consider your alternative possibilities. 

Changing To A Different Visa Category

You might be able to apply for a different visa category if you are not eligible for a visa extension or want to change to a different type of visa. For example, you might change to a spouse or partner visa, a student visa, or a skilled worker visa. Remember to apply before your existing visa expires and meet the eligibility requirements for the new visa category. 

Switching to Settlement Status

You may be eligible for settled status if you have been living and working in the UK for a while. This entails no time constraints on your ability to live and work in the UK. Depending on your visa type, you may need to reside in the UK a different number of times before applying for settlement status. For example, if you have a Skilled worker General visa, you can apply for established status after five years in the UK. 

Final Thoughts

It’s crucial to be aware that overstaying your visa may result in serious consequences, such as being denied entry to the UK again, held, or deported. So, it’s essential to ensure you stick to UK immigration rules. 

Staying on in the UK after your work visa expires is doable. You might be able to request settlement status, change your visa category, or request a visa extension. It’s necessary to follow UK immigration laws no matter your course. 

People also asked..

Can I stay in UK while waiting for my visa?

You can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired, this is why it is so important to apply before your current visa expires.

What happens if I haven’t applied for a visa extension/new visa/settlement and I stay in the UK?

Under section 24 of the Immigration Act 1971, overstaying your UK visa for any duration is a criminal offense, potentially leading to a fine or imprisonment. you will also likely be detained and promptly removed either to your home country or to a safe country where any asylum claim will be considered. However, you could benefit from a 14-day grace period if you have a “good reason” for submitting a late immigration application.

How long can I stay in the UK after my visa has expired?

If your visa has expired, you have 30 days to leave the UK voluntarily at your own expense before you face a ban on re-entry. 

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