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I would like to enquire about the maximum length of stay possible for an individual with a 6-month UK visit visa. Although it's mentioned in the Home Office webpage that granting a 6-month visitor visa allows the person to stay for a maximum of 6 months , I've seen friends of mine who were refused a second visa as they previously stayed for 2 or 3 months during their first visit to the UK.

  • But why the home office refuses further applications if the prior stays are 2 or 3 months ? – Saman Ahmed Oct 2 '16 at 16:36
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    How long did you say you intended to visit when you applied for your six-month visa? I suspect that people who say they're coming for two weeks, get a standard six-month visa, and then stay for three months get treated very differently on re-application than people who say they're coming for three months, then stay for three months if they're granted the standard six-month visa. – MadHatter supports Monica Oct 2 '16 at 17:13
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    Your friends were not refused for staying 2 or 3 months. They were refused because they said they were staying for a week or two, and then stayed 2 or 3 months. – Michael Hampton Oct 2 '16 at 17:32
  • Yes that is right , they said they would stay for two weeks , but then actually remained for two months. However , despite that , shouldn't they be able to stay for such period as long as they had been granted a 6-month visit visa ? – Saman Ahmed Oct 2 '16 at 17:47
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    @SamanAhmed: No. Lying to immigration authorities is frowned upon. – Lightness Races with Monica Oct 2 '16 at 20:29
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If I understand your question correctly, it goes along the lines of...

If the Standard Visitor Visa is good for 6 months, why do people get refused when they have previously stayed for 2 or 3 months? Surely if the person leaves before their 6 months is up they cannot be an overstayer?

Those refusals are not about overstaying. The refusal notice will point this out with formulae like...

Whilst I acknowledge that you did not overstay the validity of the visa the fact that you stayed in the UK for a significantly longer period than you stated undermines the credibility of your application...

So they explain that the issue is credibility; it's natural for people to miss this point because they are upset and disappointed when they read the refusal notice. Additional formulae goes like this...

I note from your previous visa application that you declared the duration of your visit would be for X. However you stayed for Y. The documents you have submitted do not explain why you stayed in the UK longer than you said you intended to, how you supported yourself in the UK during this extended, and apparently unplanned stay, or how you met your financial obligations and maintained your affairs in Z during this time.

What they are saying is that your previous application depicted a genuine visitor who will visit but is eventually pulled back home because of their ties and obligations. But the person's actual history shows that the ties and obligations were not very strong to begin with.

This will lead the ECO (Entry Clearance Officer) to the conclusion that the person misrepresented their circumstances and they declared a shorter time just to make their application plausible. And this is a credibility hit.

Take for example an applicant who submits evidence of full-time employment with authorised holiday of two weeks. But they stay in the UK for 4 months. The natural conclusion is that the person didn't really have a job or was planning to quit as soon as they got the visa. But more worrying to an ECO is how the person maintained themselves for that period of time. Sometimes it's generous relatives (if they appear to be well-off), but sometimes it's prostitution, drug dealing, organised crime, or what-have-you.

The 'bottom line' in these types of refusals is they don't trust you. So they will conclude with something like...

I am not satisfied that you have shown that your ties to X are sufficient incentive to leave the UK at the end of your proposed visit. On the balance of probabilities I am therefore not satisfied that you are genuinely seeking entry as a visitor or will leave the UK after a limited period...

The normal "legal" justification is usually Appendix V 4.2 (a)+(c), which is essentially their way of saying that they think there's a reasonable chance you will abscond and go underground.

The 'best practices' advice for a refusal where the applicant's credibility is doubtful is to instruct a solicitor to unsnarl the mess and get things back on the right track again. That's what they are paid to do, and a UK solicitor will not take the case if they don't think there's a good chance of success.

  • Although this is an opinion-based question, if I mentioned in my application that I would stay for one week , but I remained for 20 days , will that affect my credibility? – Saman Ahmed Oct 2 '16 at 20:01
  • @SamanAhmed: This answer clearly addresses such a scenario. – Lightness Races with Monica Oct 2 '16 at 20:31

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