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  Illegal Entry and Overstaying  

  • Introduction
  • Exemptions

    Illegal entry means entering, or seeking to enter the UK unlawfully in breach of the immigrations laws. It is an offence to enter the United Kingdom without entry clearance or leave. Also, if a person remains in the United Kingdom after the period of leave granted has expired, for example, working or having recourse to public funds when prohibited to do so under the terms of leave. These offences are punishable by imprisonment or a fine.

    People who are in the UK but who cannot establish a right to remain under the immigration rules, or otherwise, and who cannot persuade the immigration authorities to exercise discretion to allow them to stay, can be required to leave. If they do not leave, they can be arrested and detained.



    Certain Commonwealth and Irish nationals who were resident in the UK on 1st January 1973 and who have long residence in the UK cannot be deported or administratively removed. Those with diplomatic privilege also enjoy exemption from being removed from the UK in certain cases. Persons in these categories should seek more detailed advice if the immigration authorities are seeking to enforce their departure.

    For more information and assistance please contact us.