Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Why Wait For Immigration Decision Before Travelling Outside The UK

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Changes made in the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) allows applicants to retain their passport while their immigration application is being processed. In this article here we will discuss the impact of travelling outside UK while waiting for immigration decision as your applications lies pending with the Home Office.

UK immigration applications take too long to be processed. It can take weeks and sometime months to process immigration application. As such people, while waiting for immigration decision, sometime contemplate travelling outside UK while their immigration application is being processed as they have their passport with them. It is, however, strictly advised against doing so as it can have grave consequences on the immigration status and the ability to return to UK

As part of the application procedure, applicants are allowed to scan the copies of all the necessary documents including their passport and submit it online. Applicants are then required to attend an interview at one of the service centres and provide their biometrics. They also have to show all their original documents and retain their passports till the time their applications are processed. 

Travelling outside UK while waiting for immigration

Your immigration application will be considered as withdrawn by the Home Office if you travel abroad (outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) before a decision is made on your application for leave to remain or settle down. The CTA comprises of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man).

Paragraph 34K of the immigration rules provides for withdrawal of immigration application if a person travels outside of the common travel area.

As under the new rule the applicants are allowed to retain their passports, the situation becomes a bit risky. If the application processing takes too long and a decision is not taken quickly, the applicant might be tempted to travel outside the common travel area. The better and safer approach, therefore, would be for the Home Office to automatically withdraw the application if you leave the Common Travel Area. 

Consequences of immigration application being withdrawn for travelling overseas before a decision is made

Under the United Kingdom Immigration Services, if you use your passport to travel outside the Common Travel Area while waiting for a decision by the Home Office on immigration application your application shall be withdrawn and you will not have any immigration application pending with the Home Office.

If you applied before the expiry your previous leave and had changed into section 3C and you leave UK prior to the expiry of you leave, your 3C leave will also be treated as expired on the date you left UK

If you had applied before your previous leave had expired and continued to have extant leave then your extant leave will remain valid till the date of expiry.

You will get a refund of immigration health surcharge if your immigration application is considered as withdrawn since you have travelled outside the Common Travel Area while waiting for immigration decision.

For those who are in the UK on working visa travelling abroad could break the continuous time spent in the UK rule which can significantly impact your eligibility for permanent settlement. 

Re-entering UK to receive a decision on the pending immigration application

According to immigration services UK, since the immigration application is automatically withdrawn if you travel outside the Common Travel Area you will not be allowed to enter to receive a decision on your outstanding application

Since your pending immigration application stands withdrawn, you will be refused entry to the UK. You may be allowed to re-enter the UK on different kind of leave. For instance, if you have made another immigration application before returning to the UK or your existing leave has not yet expired and is not cancelled at the border.
UKVCAS applications where I am allowed to travel whilst awaiting my decision

If you are applying for UK citizenship, you are allowed to travel abroad while your application for citizenship is processed. This is so because citizenship applications are subject to different legislation and take a lot of time, up to six months. Applicants are, therefore, allowed to move in and out of the country. 

Author Bio

Amy Jones is a certified legal advisor and she is associated with Ahlawat & Associates- top legal firms in India. She loves sharing useful information about business, finance and law with needy people.

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