ECB15 - Arriving in / departing from the UK
This is internal guidance for use by entry clearance (visa) staff on the handling of visa applications made outside the UK. It is a live document under constant review and is for information only.
On this page
ECB15.1 What happens on arrival in the UK?
Information about what happens on arrival in the UK can be found on Travel and customs pages.
Under certain circumstances the Immigration Officer (IO) has authority to cancel an entry clearance and refuse entry to the traveller. (Paragraph 321 of the Rules).
ECB15.2 Changing status on or after admission to the UK (switching)
Only in certain very limited circumstances may people who have already been admitted to the UK for one purpose seek to change that purpose for another, for example, for settlement after marriage or civil partnership.
All others must leave the UK and make a fresh application for entry clearance (paragraph 28 of the Rules).
Applications for switching, where this is permitted, and requests for an extension of stay where leave to enter has expired (or is about to expire) can be made to the UK Border Agency either by post or in person at a Public Enquiry Office. Further information on changing status in the UK can be found in the relevant part of the Visas and immigration section.
ECB15.3 How to check if a person has left the UK
There is no immigration embarkation control at UK ports. If asked by the UK Border Agency to find out if a person has returned home, Entry Clearance staff can:
- check application records to see if the person has re-applied for another entry clearance;
- make enquiries through the local police; and / or
- write to the person at the last known address asking for confirmation of their date of departure from the UK for record purposes.