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Was I an overstayer?

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saffer
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Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:59 am

Was I an overstayer?

Post by saffer » Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:26 am

Hi there,

As you probably figured from my username, I'm South African. I've been to England twice before, the first time was a short 3-week stay.

The last time I went I had a 2-month air ticket, and got stamped in for 6 months as a visitor. Decided to stay on though, and left the UK just before the 6 months was up. (During which time, I never attempted to draw any access to public funds or whatever it is, basically never bothered anybody for anything, although did some odds & ends under the radar for some mates for a couple of bob to help keep the Stellas flowing.)

Could this possibly present any problems for me in visiting again?

JAJ
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 8:29 pm
Australia

Re: Was I an overstayer?

Post by JAJ » Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:39 pm

saffer wrote:Hi there,

As you probably figured from my username, I'm South African. I've been to England twice before, the first time was a short 3-week stay.

The last time I went I had a 2-month air ticket, and got stamped in for 6 months as a visitor. Decided to stay on though, and left the UK just before the 6 months was up. (During which time, I never attempted to draw any access to public funds or whatever it is, basically never bothered anybody for anything, although did some odds & ends under the radar for some mates for a couple of bob to help keep the Stellas flowing.)

Could this possibly present any problems for me in visiting again?
If you were admitted for 6 months, and left before the 6 months was up, then I don't see how you could be an overstayer.

Not a problem to visit again except that you need to bear in mind that long visits may suggest you are trying to establish de-facto residence in the UK as a tourist. This is a no-no as far as most Immigration Officers are concerned.

How long is it since you had this 6 month visit to the UK? Have you got ties in South Africa that you can demonstrate (eg job ... )?

saffer
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:59 am

Post by saffer » Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:54 pm

Thanks for your reply!

To answer your question, 2 years back in SA. Can show job & family.

Do they keep a record of entries & exits? Or do they just check out dates on your passport?

Thinking of going again next year some time, but wouldn't want to run into any problems & waste an airticket - rather go somewhere else otherwise. But England's great for me, since most of my mates are over there. Pity my great-grans went & had their kids in SA, isn't it? ;)

Kayalami
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Post by Kayalami » Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:04 pm

Saffer,

1. Entries are recorded. Exits sometimes - I've been in and out of LHR Terminal 3 on several occasions in the last 3 weeks and there were exit checks on two occasions. I expect this to be stepped up as we go towards X-mas...all those overstayers going home would be the rationale. Plans are underfoot to re-introduce exit checks - there is no stated timeline but I expect this to kick in no later than the 3rd quarter of 2007.

2. Visitors who are non visa nationals effectively apply for admission at the port of entry. You have to convince the Immigration Officer you are a bonafide visitor who does not intend to stay in the UK for more than 6 months and more importantly will not work. That you have been away for 2 years is in your favour. IO's tend to scrutinise you far more closely if you have a pattern of travel to the UK that points to a de-facto residence here - they especially look out for those who get to the 6 month leave to enter expiry period and travel to the continent for a day or two (Paris is a favourite) then return seeking a further 6 month entry period.

3. You can apply for optional entry clearance as a visitor. You may get a 2 or 5 year multiple entry visa...there are 10 years one's too but rare to get this initially unless you are in 'sheikh asset territory'. Each entry into the UK is for a max 180 days. The advantage of holding such a visa is that you have a right of appeal against being refused leave to enter at the airport and you can exercise this in the UK. Those seeking leave to enter who don't hold a visa have to appeal from abroad.

hope that helps

Christophe
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Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:54 pm

Re: Was I an overstayer?

Post by Christophe » Tue Dec 12, 2006 9:17 am

saffer wrote:Hi there,

As you probably figured from my username, I'm South African. I've been to England twice before, the first time was a short 3-week stay.

The last time I went I had a 2-month air ticket, and got stamped in for 6 months as a visitor. Decided to stay on though, and left the UK just before the 6 months was up. (During which time, I never attempted to draw any access to public funds or whatever it is, basically never bothered anybody for anything, although did some odds & ends under the radar for some mates for a couple of bob to help keep the Stellas flowing.)

Could this possibly present any problems for me in visiting again?
Based on what you say, you oughtn't to have a problem. In particular, the fact that you have been away for two years and that you didn't overstay in the first place will probably suggest that you are not 'living' in the UK on the basis of successive tourist trips and that you are not likely to overstay this time.

What is the purpose of your trip this time and how long are you intending to stay in the UK?, Will you be able to demonstrate (e.g. by an onward flight ticket or a ticket back to South Africa) that you intend to depart from the country before your leave to enter expires?

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