It is often not possible to decide an application for an extension of leave until after the period of leave has expired. To prevent applicants from becoming overstayers through no fault of their own,
section 118 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 introduced an amended section 3C (leave to remain) into the Immigration Act 1971.

Section 3C (leave to remain) automatically extends the leave of a person who has made an application for further leave to remain during a period of extant leave.
Technically, the leave is “treated as continuing”.

To benefit, a person must have existing leave to enter or remain at the time when their valid application is made. Section 3C (leave to remain) then prevents such an applicant becoming
an overstayer during the period in which their application for a variation of leave remains undecided and, thereafter, while an Immigration appeal against any refusal could be brought or is pending.

To prevent people becoming overstayer while exercising a right of appeal against a decision to curtail or to revoke leave to enter or remain, section 11 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 added a section 3D to the Immigration Act 1971. When leave to enter or remain is curtailed or revoked, section 3D extends it while an Immigration Appeal could be brought or is pending.

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