Can I apply for a leave to remain or an indefinite leave (ILR) with expired passport
There are many important matters for applicants to consider when applying for a leave to remain (permission to stay) or an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. One of the key requirements for any visa application is for applicant to provide their proof of identity with the application. The most obvious proof is a valid passport. However, there may be circumstances when applicants do not have a valid passport. Should they start to worry?
Is there any alternative proof of identity applicants can provide
To make a valid application applicants have to provide proof of identity in accordance with the immigration rules and in accordance with the process set out in the specific immigration application form. The document that satisfies the proof of identity requirement is the applicant’s valid passport. However, some applicants may overlook their passport expiry date and it takes more time to renew it if you are in the UK.
In that situation many applicants (except those on Points Based System PBS e.g. Skilled Workers) may be able to provide their valid national ID card to evidence their identity.
For example, Ancestry visa applicants may wish to use their valid South African national ID card. Those applicants who do not have a valid national ID card may be able to use their most recent passport.
We recommend to seek advice from an immigration lawyer in such situations.
Are there circumstances when proof of identity does not need to be provided
There are exceptions when applicants are exempt from the need to provide proof of identity. One of those is when the applicant’s passport is already with the Home Office at the time of application. For example, when you provided it with your previous application that is pending decision.
The other permitted catch all exception is when ‘the applicant provides a good reason beyond their control why they cannot provide proof of their identity.’ If any of the permitted exceptional circumstances occur the Home Office reserves the right to ask for an ‘alternative satisfactory evidence of their identity and nationality.’
Source of law:
34. An application for permission to stay must be made in accordance with sub-paragraphs (1) to (9) below.
(5) (a) Subject to paragraph 34(5)(c), the applicant must provide proof of identity as described in 34(5)(b) below and in accordance with the process set out in the application form.
(b) Proof of identity for the purpose of this paragraph means:
(i) a valid passport or, if an applicant (except a PBS applicant) does not have a valid passport, a valid national identity card; or
(ii) if the applicant does not have a valid passport or national identity card, their most recent passport or (except a PBS applicant) their most recent national identity card; or
(iii) if the applicant does not have any of the above, a valid travel document.
(c) Proof of identity need not be provided where:
(i) the applicant’s passport, national identity card or travel document is held by the Home Office at the date of application; or
(ii) the applicant’s passport, nationality identity card or travel document has been permanently lost or stolen and there is no functioning national government to issue a replacement; or
(iii) the applicant’s passport, nationality identity card or travel document has been retained by an employer or other person in circumstances which have led to the applicant being the subject of a positive conclusive grounds decision made by a competent authority under the National Referral Mechanism; or
(iv) the application is for limited leave to enable access to public funds pending an application under paragraph 289A of, or under Part 6 of Appendix Armed Forces or section DVILR of Appendix FM to these Rules; or
(v) the application is made under Part 14 of these Rules for leave as a stateless person or as the family member of a stateless person; or
(vi) the application was made by a person in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection; or
(vii) the applicant provides a good reason beyond their control why they cannot provide proof of their identity.
(6) Where any of paragraph 34(5)(c)(ii)-(vii) applies, the Secretary of State may ask the applicant to provide alternative satisfactory evidence of their identity and nationality.