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My friend is Chinese and has a UK student visa that expires the 30th of March. He now has a job but his new visa has been delayed and he won't have it before the end of March. He is going to travel in Europe and go back to the UK the 28th of March, so a couple of days before the expiration date of his visa.

Could he get into trouble at the border control when going back to the UK because of that?

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  • Will your friend be enrolled in a course of study on the 28th of March?
    – phoog
    Mar 16, 2022 at 8:11
  • @phoog no he isn't a student anymore, he has a job but he is waiting for his new visa Mar 16, 2022 at 9:28
  • For clarity, is his new job in the UK?
    – Traveller
    Mar 16, 2022 at 10:29
  • @Traveller yes his new job is in the UK Mar 16, 2022 at 11:33

1 Answer 1

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Someone with a student visa who attempts to enter the UK for reasons other than study is not supposed to be be admitted because the person does not meet the visa conditions.

I assume that your friend has applied to "switch" to another visa while remaining in the UK (please let me know if this is incorrect).

On the UK's page concerning switching to a skilled worker visa, you can read this message:

You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.

What this means is that someone switching to this visa who leaves before receiving a decision will have to make an entirely new visa application at a UK consulate and wait for that new application to be successful before being able to return to the UK.

The same warning is present for other visa types as well, for example the health care worker visa.

Could he get into trouble at the border control when going back to the UK because of that?

Yes.

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    You are right, he lives in the UK and he applied for another visa while remaining in the UK. I am very surprised by your answer because he managed to go through the UK border control at the beginning of this month after another trip in Europe without any problem. Mar 16, 2022 at 9:46
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    @user1482030 it seems he got lucky. Arriving two days before the visa's expiration seems likely to increase the probability of closer scrutiny. In practice I suppose it's also likely that a sympathetic border officer would overlook this -- but it's also still possible (for all I know) that someone processing the pending application will notice the trip earlier this month and consequently refuse the application. I would consider approaching an immigration lawyer for advice if I were in your friend's shoes; the Home Office is notorious for its lack of sympathy to foreigners.
    – phoog
    Mar 16, 2022 at 9:52

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