Illegal Immigrants and overstayers

People who are not British citizens, European nationals, or do not have the right of abode in the UK must have permission to come to the UK. Some nationals can come for a short visit without needing a visa, but everyone coming for more than six months will need a visa.


If you come to the UK without permission, or if you give false information or travel on false documents, the Home Office may declare that you have entered illegally and try to remove you from the UK. If you come to the UK but stay after your permission has run out, then you will be an overstayer and the Home Office may try to remove you from the UK.  People who are illegal entrants or overstayers do not have permission to work in the UK, and it is a criminal offence to employ them.

If you think that you might be an illegal entrant or an overstayer you can seek legal advice in confidence, to examine your situation and options. Employers and others who are concerned to avoid breaking the law can also seek legal advice.

Under UK immigration law you do not have a legal right to be in the UK if you:

• Used deception in any form to enter the UK – this includes using false documents, lying, or entering illegally, without documents and without going through immigration control
• Breached the conditions of your visa, such as working without leave
• Overstayed – remained in the UK beyond the date on which your visa expired

In most cases, it is not possible to ‘regularise’ your stay if you are in the UK illegally, but in some cases it is possible to apply under some category of the Immigration Rules, or under concessions announced from time to time by the government, or to make an application based on the particular circumstances of your case ‘outside the rules’ to ‘regularise’ your stay – that is, to be granted permission to stay legally in the UK.

We have particular expertise in assisting overstayers and those who have no lawful status to remain in the UK. On July 9th 2012, UKBA introduced stricter Immigration policies. However some of the polices can help those who have overstayed to obtain regularisation of their legal status in the UK, for example:

Where an overstayer has a genuine and subsisting parental relationship with a child who-

  1. is under the age of 18 years and is in the UK and is a British Citizen or
  2. has lived in the UK continuously for at least the 7 years immediately preceding the date of application ;and
  3. it would not be reasonable to expect the child to leave the UK; or
  4. the applicant has a genuine and subsisting relationship with a partner who is in the UK and is a British Citizen, settled in the UK or in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection, and there are insurmountable obstacles to family life with that partner continuing outside the UK.

Overstayers and illegal entrants who seek to regularise their legal status in the UK can also seek to reply on the Human Rights Act 1998. We have substantial expertise and success in helping individuals who have established a private and/or family life in the UK, to regularise their legal status under Article 8 ECHR 1998 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

If you are here illegally without valid leave to remain and would like to discuss your options confidentially, please make an appointment with us on 0207 3927672 or at