My case - and history -

I carry a passport that the visa (tourist/leave to enter) is issued at the airport (non-EU). I arrived end of 2016 and received 6 months (a lucky day ). I left after 1 month only (a very unlucky day).

Is it better to travel before those 6 months are over; i.e., is there such a regulation, that if immigration already issued a certain time (based on the evidence I brought with me and such), will the next immigration officer issue easily a visa for the time remaining from those 6 months?

Is the time of travel irrelevant and will it be completely a new case when I arrive in the UK?

I am trying to read the UK regulations and I cannot find a certain green light for the free travel thing, nor can I understand it.

From persons I've met, sometimes they were given 2 weeks or a month, etc . If everything is at the discretion of the immigration officer, what are my chances to get those 6 months per year ? I know about proof of funds. What steps should I take?

  • 2
    They will take into account your history of travel. If the ECO thinks you are not a genuine visitor but trying to effectively settle in the UK, they can decline to grant you leave to enter. – RedGrittyBrick Jan 27 '17 at 14:31
  • If you receive an entry stamp at the airport then that is not a visa. The standard period of admission for such people is six months. – phoog Jan 27 '17 at 16:12
  • Regarding "I cannot find a certain green light for the free travel thing" it's in the rules. – Gayot Fow Jan 28 '17 at 6:59

Non-visa nationals who arrive in the UK for business or tourism will by default get leave to enter for 6 months, unless the immigration officer who processes them finds something amiss with their explanation.

Such a leave to enter automatically expires when you leave the UK. This is stated in Paragraph 20A of the rules...

Leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom will usually lapse on the holder going to a country or territory outside the common travel area.

The next time you apply to enter, you can get a new leave to enter for 6 months, if you still don't trigger the IO's suspicions.

The precise number of days you have used of your previous leave to enter is not important. What is important is that you don't give the IO the impression that you're trying to live primiarily in the UK and just exiting temporarily in order to get a fresh leave to enter. If he gets that impression, you're likely to be refused outright, or be given a very short leave to enter so you can bring your affairs in order and then leave voluntarily -- it's never "6 months minus what you have already used up".

(Also important is whether the time you stayed in the UK matched what you said when you entered, even if you left within the time your LtE was valid for. If you changed your plans dramatically and can't explain that satisfactorily afterwards, your credibility will be hurt. We have seen cases of travelers who were refused entry for this reason).

Note in passing that the leave to enter you get at the border is not a visa. A visa is something you apply for in advance.

  • 1
    Where does it say leave automatically expires when you leave the UK? Is there a source? – Gayot Fow Jan 28 '17 at 5:53
  • 1
    @GayotFow: That's what I think sections 20 and 20A say. Is there a relevant difference between "expire" and "lapse" in this context? – hmakholm left over Monica Jan 28 '17 at 9:07
  • Good research, Sir, I have updated your answer and added my up vote because it's technically complete – Gayot Fow Jan 28 '17 at 13:18

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