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The UK Home Office has replied whether migrants can leave the country while their visa applications are pending

New changes to the UK immigration rules will come into effect on 6 October 2021. They will answer a question that is of great importance to many: whether a migrant can leave the UK while their application submitted within the country is pending.

This applies to those who already live in the UK and wish to either extend their visa, switch to another one or proceed to the next stage of the immigration journey: a residence permit, an indefinite leave to remain or citizenship.

Unfortunately, the answer is “No”. If you leave the UK while your visa application is pending, your application will be considered automatically withdrawn. This may seriously affect your immigration status in the UK and your immigration record. In the best-case scenario, you will have to reapply and go through the entire immigration process again.

This rule does not apply to naturalisation applicants and EU nationals with a pending settlement application. However, in the latter case, it is better to stay in the UK while waiting for the Home Office decision.

This issue is crucial to many migrants because it takes a long time to get the decision. Although most visas are granted within 8 weeks, processing may take up to 6 months.

To alleviate this, the UK authorities offer fast-track routes to process applications for a separate fee. So, the time frame may be reduced to one week, or sometimes even a day. However, this option isn’tavailable for several visas and permits. Besides, it is quite expensive.

Imperial & Legal will help you understand all the nuances of the UK immigration rules and do their best to make the immigration process as fast and smooth as possible.

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