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Lawyer21
Lawyer21, CILEx Lawyer & SRA Accredited Immigration Adviser
Category: Immigration Law
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Experience:  CILEx Lawyer & SRA Accredited Immigration Adviser
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I recently arrived at London Heathrow from the USA and the

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Hi there, I recently arrived at London Heathrow from the USA and the customs officer told me that I can only stay in UK for 3 to 4 weeks even though I've only been here for three days this year in total prior to this trip. The officer asked me how long I plan to stay for, I answered 3 weeks because I may be traveling elsewhere, am I able to change my mind and stay in the UK for longer than 3-4 weeks? The officer made it sound like if I overstay the 3-4 weeks there would be consequences if I decide to return later in the year. I am confused as I was under the impression Americans can stay in the UK for up to 6 months per year. Are there circumstances where you cannot stay for more than 6 mo per year in the UK?
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any paperwork with the UK government? What country do you live in? What is your citizenship?
Customer: I live in USA, haven't filed any paperwork.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: How can I speak with an expert
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thanks, ***** ***** me with a Lawyer
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
File attached (1VMVP1Q)

Hi How can I help?

I will read your question and respond

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, ok thanks. I put all the details if you need any further clarfication please let me know.

Kindly hold on whilst I take a look at the attachment.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you could respond through the chat that would be great

I am unable to open up the image. It is correct that as a General rule US national's are entitled to come to the UK and stay up to a period of six months and then return in accordance with the terms of their leave. It is likely you have been given less time as on the 8th June 2020, the UK is introducing a 14 days quarantine period for oversea travellers entering the UK

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand but how can we be sure if we must stay for 3 weeks or 6 months?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
File attached (ZL5V72G)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I attached the doc again if you could help it would be great

Waiting for the document to download.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks a lot

Whilst it is downloading what does the document say?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It has two stamps, one of them is normal entry date info which is today.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The other one says ''5/X months'' and then below it ''no work or recourse to public funds''
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
39;'for/until 5/x months''

Sorry there is a problem opening the attachment.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok what I wrote help at all?

What does today stamp say?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
39;'Immigration Officer - (2965) 5 JUNE 2020- Heathrow
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the second stamp

What about the length of the visa?

That is the date of the stamp - you said the other one says ''5/X months'' and then below it ''no work or recourse to public funds''

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is an American passport so there is no visa required

Yes that is correct - but you said earlier that the other stamp says '''5/X months'' and then below it ''no work or recourse to public funds''

I am not talking about the visa - but what the stamp says!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can't read the line above the ''5/x months'' but I thinks it says ... to offer for/until (and he crossed out until) and then it says the ''5/x months'' no work or recourse to public funds

Do all your previous stamps only have a date or wording ''5/X months'' and then below it ''no work or recourse to public funds''?

In other words how do you know you was given less time? Was it just verbally?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Last time I came they didn't even stamp it. But in 2017 there was only the normal stamp with the date of entry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
just verbally he said don't over stay 3 or 4 weeks

If it just has today's stamp - then there is nothing to say you cannot stay the usual six months. This is indicated by way of the stamp and it is clear that US national's are allowed to stay up to 6 months.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
was his verbal warning was just to scare me?

I believe this may have been the case due to the current situation with the virus?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It seemed like he thought I had no intention of leaving as well
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just still don't know why he stamped the passport with a 5 month mark. Maybe because I don't have a return flight as well?

As mentioned before from 8th June they will be introducing 14 days quarantine for anyone coming from overseas. A lot of people are coming back to the UK earlier so they are not caught up with the 14 days rule.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
that's exactly why I came today before the 8th

I see

How long are you planning to stay?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No other thoughts about the 5 month stamp?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cana they enter something in the system noting I am only allowed to stay for 3-4 weeks because that's what I stated today. Will I get ın trouble if I overstay 3-4 weeks because I changed my mind about length of stay
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No longer than 6 weeks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was like he didn't want me to stay longer than that even though US citizens are allowed 6 months per year

You should try to keep to the original time period you have stated in case it was entered by the Officer in his computer system - however if is due to flight's not being available or a travel ban then this would be fine due to the virus.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not allowed to change my mind?

I understand your frustration here and you are right - the entire world is going through it's biggest health crisis in it's history and theses are very uncertain and difficult times. Let's hope the virus comes to an end sooner rather than later.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I don't exceed the 6 months?

You cannot exceed 6 month's Sir, you would be overstaying.

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Thank you for your question today

All the best and take care

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