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Leave/Return/Leave of Country just over six months ... Visa problems?

We have been in Scotland 5 months; our proper leave date for allowed six month stay would be September 15. We have return airline reservations to U.S. for Oct 3rd, and plan to leave Scotland to visit Holland for one week in early September, then return to Scotland to retrieve our belongings and leave two weeks later. We've been staying in one place with friends. Our assumption was that since we'd be leaving the first time to visit Holland within our allotted six months stay, we'd be allowed to re-enter, stay for two weeks to pack up etc, and then leave Scotland for home in U.S. Now I'm not sure if we'll be allowed back in. WILL WE LIKELY BE ALLOWED TO RE-ENTER SCOTLAND AFTER LEAVING BRIEFLY, if we return within our six months?

Then, having left the country for a week and returning within our six month allotment, we assumed there would be no problem coming back in and showing our return reservations to the US for two weeks later. But I'm not sure if Immigration would consider that a new visit, an overstay, or require us to stay out of the country for six months before allowing us back in.

Alternatively, if we don't visit Holland and effectively overstay by 2-3 weeks, will we be penalized and possibly not allowed to visit next year? We hope to return here for another 4-6 months about eight months after our return to U.S. Any help or direction to UK advice will be deeply appreciated!

Posted by
2102 posts

First, DO NOT OVERSTAY. If you do, this could cause problems in future.

Second, no one on these forums can give any advice other than say that each time you enter the UK you may be given leave to remain for up to six months. This will be determined by the agents at Border Control. They may give you another six months, or they may only give you a couple of weeks, or they may refuse you entry.

If you keep entering the UK expect to be closely questioned, but that in itself is not a reason to be denied entry. There is no set period you have to stay away before seeking re-entry.
In short, no one knows the outcome until you try to enter.

But, as said above – DO NOT OVERSTAY.

Posted by
4633 posts

The rough rule of thumb used to be that anyone attempting to stay in the UK for more than 6 months in any 12 would be likely to raise suspicion that they were actually attempting to stay for prolonged periods in the UK without having obtained the appropriate longer stay visa. This has been removed from the published rules and guidance but may still be in the mind of the person who questions you at the border. Leaving nearly at the end of a six month period and coming back within such a short time as a week may raise this kind of flag. That you have a long-booked flight out of the UK may go in your favour in considerations on that occasion, even if the outcome is admittance only to that day. What actually will happen no one can tell you and be certain.

Posted by
2353 posts

Provided you've calculated your current leave date correctly (both arrival & departure count) your current departure date of Oct 3 has you overstaying by 19 days. You need to leave the UK for 19 days then return to catch you flight home. Overstaying could cause big problems

Posted by
2529 posts

I think you are best to get some professional advice especially if you want to come back to the UK for 4-6 months in 8 months time. Might just not happen . Showing return tickets means diddly squat to the Immigration agents,they will want to know why you have spent so much time in the UK and why you are returning so soon.

Posted by
27428 posts

UK immigration works differently than the Schengen immigration. If you are on a 90 days in any 180 in the Schengen area, temporarily leaving the Schengen area stops the 90 day counter while you are away. In the UK it is called leave to remain and is for a period not to exceed 6 months, regardless of temporary out of the UK experiences. The time you were granted is the time you were granted. Didn't you know what the date of your flight was when you booked it?

You have a bit of time to work with now, why don't you move the date of your flight?

Posted by
4633 posts

Your earlier post on your trip says:

We'll be spending six months in Scotland starting soon, and from there in September, would like to take a ferry to Amsterdam

If you had stuck with that plan you wouldn't be faced with any uncertainty.

If you had been asked for your return ticket on initial entry, and all you had at the time was the 3 October one to the USA you most likely would have been refused entry there and then. Did you have your tickets to Amsterdam at that time, and did you show them at the border on entry?