I am a US citizen who has been working in the UK the last few years on a work visa. I am planning to backpack into EU from the UK at the end of my contract, leaving between 13-15th of Feb, which coincides with the end of my work visa on the 15th of Feb. As I dont want to carry extra luggage, I plan on leaving a suitcase or two with friends in the UK while I continue my EU trip. Upon completion of the trip (2-6 weeks), I plan on reentering the UK, grab my luggage, and return to the US.

As I leave before my UK visa ends and under the 30 day overstay limit, there should be no overstay issues that would bar my re-entry. However, I am unsure how it will look to the entry guards when I say I want to enter the country for less than a day or two after being there for 3 years to pick up luggage and fly back to the US.

I gather having a UK -> US ticket booked upon entry to the UK will help to show I have no plans of overstaying, but is there any other issue or concern I may face?

  • 1
    The Immigration Officials will probably see this as a compleatly legitimate travel itinerary, especially since you have a home-bound booking. Be prepared to show the ticket should they request to see it. In the worst case scenario, they would probably issue a leave to enter for a period shorter than the default 6 months, but would include the date of your planned departure. Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 10:28
  • Are you even going to meet immigration since US Citizens can now use the e passport gates? travel.stackexchange.com/questions/135115/… Commented Feb 3, 2022 at 3:36
  • @AugustineofHippo The result of an ePassport gate check can also lead to being sent to an Immigration Official for futher questioning in such a case (returning 2 weeks after work visa has expired). Commented Feb 3, 2022 at 7:16
  • @MarkJohnson I am aware of that however there’s absolutely nothing unusual about returning to UK shortly after the expiration of a work visa. As a visitor I have sometimes entered and exited the UK multiple times in a month without being flagged. In addition he’s not from an en economically disadvantaged country. An onward ticket is enough. Commented Feb 3, 2022 at 9:51
  • There is no such thing as a ‘30 day overstay limit’ davidsonmorris.com/overstay-in-uk
    – Traveller
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 1:51


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