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Applying for leave to remain in the UK

We are unable to give immigration advice as under UK immigration law, organisations can only provide this if they are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Details of specialist immigration organisations can be found on our important links and organisations page.


Aim of this information

This information is designed to help people with a criminal record who are looking to apply for leave to remain in the UK and are worried about how their criminal record might cause them problems.

Why is this important?

Many people have old and minor criminal records. All of these have to be disclosed when applying for leave to remain in the UK. However, there are guidelines on how your application might be treated.

How criminal records are assessed

Applications for leave to remain are exempt from (i.e. not covered by) the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

This means that you need to declare all convictions and police cautions on your application to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), even if they are spent.

Time periods

You will need to disclose your criminal record as part of your application, even if it is spent. The Home Office will then make their decision based on the length of sentence you were given, and when it was given. The table below sets these out:

How UKVI make their decisions

Declaring a caution or conviction will not necessary mean that your application will be rejected.

The Home Office has guidance on their ‘General grounds for refusal’ when considering applications for leave to remain

It’s important to recognise that failing to fully disclose your criminal record might lead to you being considered as attempting to deceive the system.

For more information

  1. Practical self-help information – More information coming to the UK can be found here.
  2. Discuss this issue – Read and share your experiences on our online forum

Get involved

Help us to add value to this information.  You can:-

  1. Comment on this information (below)
  2. Send your feedback directly to us
  3. Discuss your views and experiences with others on our online peer forum


Add Comment
  1. Good morning,

    My current leave to remain (Tier 4 General) is due to expire on 30/10/2022. I understand I have to apply for an extension to continue my studies at university. I have successfully managed to obtain a CAS letter from my university to start my third year (last year). I have also managed to have the sufficient funds required in my bank account for a consecutive period of 28 days.

    Throughout my stay in the UK, I have not been convicted of any serious crime, however, I have had minor parking fines and most importantly in March 2021, my driving license had been revoked due to having six SP30-related penalty points. Furthermore, in September 2021, I had to redo my entire driving license application, and to which I was successful. I would like to know if this offence of being disqualified from driving will cause my application to be refused.

    Thank you.

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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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