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26 June 2024

What does ‘visa curtailment’ mean?

Visa curtailment is an important topic, as it can have a great impact on your ability to remain in the UK. Learn about it in our guide.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Man having to leave the UK after experiencing a visa curtailment.

Regardless of what UK visa you are on, there is always a small possibility that you could experience visa curtailment. You might be wondering what this is, or you may be reading about it after being informed that your visa is being curtailed.

Essentially, if you have been given a curtailed visa, then your stay in the UK has been cut short. Usually, visas have a set length of time. A curtailment reduces your maximum stay.

You could receive a curtailed visa for a number of reasons. Some will not be your fault, and so are out of your control, whilst other reasons will be something that you can avoid through your own actions. Find out more by reading below.

What results in a curtailed visa?

There can be many reasons for a visa curtailment, and as we have said, many you will have no control over and it will not be your fault. It will be difficult to list every possible reason for a curtailment, so we will provide a few examples of both reasons out of your control, as well as some where it happens as a result of your own actions.

No fault of your own examples

In our first example, if you are in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa but your visa has been curtailed, then it is likely because your sponsor has had their Sponsor Licence revoked for breaking the Sponsor Licence rules. If your sponsor loses their licence, then they can no longer sponsor overseas workers, and so, cannot employ you anymore.

Also, if you are in the UK on a Spouse Visa and you split from your partner, regardless of who is at fault, or if it is an amicable separation, your Spouse Visa will be curtailed.

Examples where you are at fault

Then, we have situations where you are at fault for your visa curtailment and could have avoided it if you had not committed certain actions.

For example, if you hold a visa in the UK and breach the conditions of your visa, then your visa will be curtailed. One example of breaching the conditions of your visa if you carry out work on a visa that does not allow you to work in the UK.

One obvious example is that if you commit a serious crime, or repeatedly commit offences, then you will have your visa curtailed.

How will I know if I have been given a visa curtailment?

You will be sent a letter by the Home Office informing you of the details. This is called a letter of curtailment. 

You may also get a letter when a curtailment is being considered, which is called a ‘minded to curtail’ letter. 

If you have been given a letter of curtailment, the number of days you have left in the UK will apply from the date on the letter, and it will also include the day your visa expires.

How long can I stay in the UK before I have to leave?

Usually, you should leave the UK within the amount of time specified in your letter of curtailment. Most people are given 60 days, but the amount can vary based on your specific circumstances.

However, you may be able to get the number of days extended if there is a family emergency, you have a serious medical issue that needs to be treated, or another event that means you need to stay in the UK for longer. To get your time extended, you should contact the Home Office and inform them of your situation. They should recognise that you need to stay in the UK to, for example, support your ill relative.

What happens after I have been given a visa curtailment?

If you do not leave within 60 days, you will be classed as overstaying your visa, and you will face repercussions such as a fine, prison time, deportation, or all of these.

Options if it was your own fault

In the case that your curtailment was a result of something your own actions and you do not agree with the curtailment of your visa, you have some options. In some cases, you might be able to appeal, but this is only possible if your letter of curtailment explains that you can. Your other option is that you can submit an error correction request. We will discuss the error correction request in more detail in the following section.

Options if your visa curtailment is not your fault

However, if it is a reason for something that is out of your control, then your only option aside from leaving the UK, is to try and switch to a new visa. Please note that you will have to meet the requirements of the new visa you apply for, and many might not fit your circumstances. You should explore your options, and possibly consult a legal expert to understand what might be best for you based on your situation. 

Additionally, if you plan on applying for a new visa, then make sure you submit your application before your current leave to remain expires, otherwise this will also result in you being classed as overstaying your visa. 

If you do not leave within 60 days, you will be classed as overstaying your visa, and you will face repercussions.

Error correction request for a curtailed visa

In the event that your visa has been curtailed and you have been informed it is as a result of something you have done, but you do not think you are at fault, then you can submit an error correction request to the Home Office. You will have 14 days to submit a request from the date of the letter they sent to you.

As part of your error correction request, you should include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Home Office reference number
  • Reasons why you think the Home Office’s decision was incorrect

How we can help

Visa curtailment can be stressful if you are having to go through it, especially if you are alone. Whether you think you could swap to a new visa, or just want some immigration legal advice, you should get in touch with our experienced law team for assistance.

You can contact us either by calling us, emailing us, using our website chatbot, or by arranging a free 10-minute assessment. All of these allow us to see whether we are able to help you with your particular situation, and also let you decide if you want to use our services.

After the initial contact, you will be able to book a longer, paid consultation in which you will receive advice and guidance. From here, we can move forward and assist you with your case.

However, if you are just interested in asking one or two questions about an issue you are experiencing instead of having a long consultation, we have 15 minute consultation available.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your visa curtailment with a member of our team.

Ready for assistance?

If you have any questions, or want to book an appointment with one of our legal experts, contact Woodcock Law today. Call us on +44 (0)20 7712 1705 or email

Overseas workers themselves should not have to pay any fee at all to work in the UK, aside from the fees required for their Skilled Worker Visa application.

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