The UKBA has recently announced an important change to the Points Based System for applicants seeking further leave to remain. This change will affect students applying under Tier 4.
If an applicant has overstayed their visa by more than 28 days there application will be refused automatically unless there are exceptional mitigating circumstances which caused the application to be late.
The 28 days of overstay is calculated from whichever of the following is the latest:
- The end of the last period of leave to enter or remain granted
- The end of any extension of leave
- The point that a migrant has received written notice of invalidity in relation to an in-time application for further leave to remain
As expected, if an applicant claims that there were exceptional mitigating factors that should be considered, proof will be required. This proof should be submitted with your application.
Exactly what is meant by exceptional mitigating circumstances is not tightly defined and is somewhat dependant on the individual circumstances of the applicant and their application. The threshold has been announced as being very high. In general, exceptional circumstances that are likely to cause unforeseen delays could be:
- A serious illness
- Travel (to submit an application) or postal delays
- Inability to provide required documentation only where this is beyond the applicant’s control. In other words, if the UKBA are at fault or documents are lost to theft, fire or flood, supported with sufficient evidence of the loss, and the date replacements were sought.