Travellers are having a really tough time of it throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Many have been forced to cancel their holidays, while others have been left stranded due to last minute lockdown changes. In all the chaos of the pandemic, visa overstaying is becoming an increasing concern.
Here, we’ll look at some of the best ways to handle visa overstaying as a traveller.
What is visa overstaying?
Visa overstaying is basically where a traveller remains in the country after their visa has expired. Different countries require visas for different reasons. In the UK for example, international students and workers need a visa to remain in the country.
Visas are typically offered for a set period of time. It is then up to the traveller to either apply to extend the visa or return home. The question is, what happens if you overstay a visa, particularly during the coronavirus?
What are your rights as an overstayer?
Over time, the penalties for overstaying a visa in the UK have worsened. In normal circumstances, it can impact your right to continue to live and work in the country. Before you can apply for another visa, you will need to leave the UK.
The only exception to this is if the application is made within 14 days of the visa expiring. You will also need to show you have good reasons to have overstayed your visa.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, those who are trapped in the UK due to travel restrictions, have been given a temporary stay. However, it is important for overstayers to arrange transport home as soon as travel restrictions ease.
What to do if your visa is refused
Becoming a visa overstayer can be a very stressful situation. This is especially true if your visa extension has been denied. There are all kinds of reasons why a visa may be refused, but what can you do if this happens?
The first thing you should do is seek advice from a solicitor. Choose a company that specialises in immigration law like Withers. They will be able to look at your case and your circumstances to determine the best course of action. They will also be able to help you understand your rights and responsibilities.
These are difficult times and visa overstays are increasing in the UK due to the pandemic. If you have overstayed your visa, seeking the right advice is crucial to avoid potentially damaging consequences.