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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi, I would like to know what my next move could be. I entered

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I would like to know what my next move could be.
I entered the uk age 17 alone on a 6month visiting visa from Zimbabwe, I then overstayed for fear of going back with all the country's political problems but was too young to understand what I could do. My mother had died when I was 12 and I've never known my father. I came to the uk under my brother's advice but he was preoccupied with building his family so I've had no leagal advice of any kind.
I am now 30yrs old and still looking over my shoulder realizing I may have no grounds to gain leave to remain in the uk. My life is here and fear I would not survive if I returned to Zimbabwe. What are my options if any?

Many thanks.

Thanks for your question.

Are you in a relationship with any person and, if so, please state their nationality?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was in a 5yr relationship with an English girl, but we broke up at the start of last year due to this situation, I hadnt told her my legal situation. I am currently not in a serious relationship


Drafting your answer now.

5 mins.


Thanks for your patience.

I am afraid that your options are very limited.

You are regarded as an overstayer under the immigration rules because you have overstayed your original visa. This means that you do not have leave to remain. The UKBA is able to use this as a general ground to refuse almost all visa applications that you would make.

Previously, if an illegal migrant had remained in the UK for 14 years they could apply for indefinite leave to remain on the basis of this long residence, but this right was abolished over a year ago. This is no longer any option for you.

Really, the only conceivable options for you would either be to apply for asylum OR to apply on the basis of a relationship with another person who had a regularised immigration status.

The difficulty with claiming asylum is the lapse of time. Claiming Asylum is very difficult. In practice only 19 of 100 applications are actually accepted.

In order to claim asylum you must show that you have a well founded fear of persecution because of:-
 race;
 religion;
 nationality;
 political opinion; or
 membership of a particular social group.

The problem is that the UKBA would likely expect someone who was a legitimate asylum claimant to make the claim as soon as they arrived in the UK. The lapse of time that you have is no helpful, because a legitimate claimant would claim as soon as possible with a view to securing their stay in the UK immediately (ie. because they were convinced their claim was eligible).

It is not to say that you are prevented from being a legitimate claimant of asylum, just that it is made much more difficult. You would have to produce substantial documentary evidence for why the reasons that you would fear suffering persecution still exist despite your time outside the UK.

The further difficulty is that you would be regarded as an adult for most of the time you have been in the UK and so it’s more difficult to argue that you have accrued a human right to avoid being deported on the basis of emotional connection to the UK.

Were you to find a person who had ILR or was a European Economic Area national in the UK and started a relationship with them then you might be able to make an application either for a spouse visa (probably from your home country:-
Or an application for a residence card under EEA rules:-

You would either have to be married or be in a relationship where you have lived together for a period of 2 years to apply for these though, so I have to be honest; it’s going to be difficult and it’s going to take time.

I really am sorry that I could not have better news for you.

Good luck.

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I had a feeling it was going to be bad news, my only hope was for compassionate leave to remain, having lived here so many years. I've recently been diagnosed with diabetes, would that have any strong standing in my case? And my brother being a British citizen and only family I have left?


Your brother being British does not give you another category to apply under automatically. This is because he is not regarded as part of your immedaite family (ie. wife/child) and therefore you would only be able to apply if you were regarded as an "adult dependent relative":-

The problem with this is that it is based on the fact that the applicant must require care. I do not think diabetes falls in to this category since provided you get the correct medication then you are able to carry out the day to day tasks of normal everyday life.

The diabetes on it's own would potentially be helpful if you were able to prove that your home country was not able to provide the necessary care or treatment for diabetes. It is was able to provide it though then it would not be an argument for an application.

Basically, the only real applicaiton available to you at the present time is either Asylum (which has the above difficulties), or an application for discretionary leave to remain on the basis of diabetes (if your home country cannot treat it) and the length of time here and the fact that your brother is here. It would not be guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination, the probability of a rejection woudl be very high.

I think you need to research diabetes in your home country and then maybe take it from there.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not the greatest news, a waste of a lifetime is hard news to swallow. I appreciate you taking the time to explain my options, however limited they are. I guess money would be wasted on solicitors.


Many thanks.


I know it's very difficult to take, I am sorry.

IF you make an application then you would do so accepting that there is a high possibility that it would be rejected.

However, if you prepare the application yourelf then there is an even higher probability that it would be rejected. This is because the application is a specialist one based outside the immigration rules.

You have to assert your arguement.

A solicitor would know how to do this in the best possible.

I would say that if you are prepared to make an appliction then instructing a solicitor to do it for you is the only way to go because of the above reasons.

Please remember to rate my answer.

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