If you have limited leave to remain in the UK, you will need to apply to the Home Office to extend your leave before the limited leave finishes (this is the date on your biometric residence permit). If you make a valid application to extend your leave in the 28 days before this date (this is called making an ‘in time’ application), then your permission to stay will keep going until you receive a decision (and any appeal decision). This is known as section 3C leave.
When you make an application to the Home Office, you send them your documents (such as your passport). Other people or organisations, like your employer, may ask to see those documents, and may not understand that you still have rights, such as the right to work or claim public funds. If this happens, it can help to send them a letter explaining what 3C leave is, and what your rights are.
What you will need to include in this letter will depend on your individual case. However, below is a template with some ideas. You can also download this template as a word document here.
Your address – in full
The name and address of the organisation
asking for information about your immigration status
Your name, date of birth and nationality
Name, date of birth and nationality of each dependant (this is normally any family members included in your application)
I made an application for further leave to remain in the UK, on the basis of insert the reason you were asking for permission to stay in the UK, e.g. my private and family life. I previously held leave to remain on this basis, with permission to list the conditions on your last grant of leave, e.g. work, study and access public funds in the UK. This should be clearly written on the decision letter from your last grant of leave.
My application to extend my leave to remain in the UK was submitted on DATE, before my previous grant of leave expired (on DATE).
Section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 allows a person who has submitted an in-time application to extend their stay in the UK. They will not become an overstayer while their application remains outstanding and the conditions which applied during their previous grant of leave continue.
As I submitted my application when I had leave to remain, my leave is automatically extended with the same conditions. This means that I am still permitted to list the conditions on your last grant of leave, e.g. work, study and access public funds in the UK. This should be clearly written on the decision letter from your last grant of leave.
Employers can ask the Home Office to check an employee’s or potential employee’s immigration status using the Employer Checking Service: https://www.gov.uk/employee-immigration-employment-status.
I have not yet received a decision in my case/my family’s case. I understand that the Home Office service standard for making decisions on this type of application is six months.
If it has been more than six months since you submitted your application, please see the template letter on chasing the status of your immigration application, then include the following two sentences: I contacted the Home Office to ask about the status of my application on DATE and I am awaiting a response.
In spite of this Home Office delay, I have an ongoing right of residence in the UK, including the right to list the conditions on your last grant of leave, e.g. work, study and access public funds. This should be clearly written on the decision letter from your last grant of leave.