There is no such a thing as automatic legalization. At the same time in some case people, who entered the UK illegally or became illegal while in the UK (visa expired and not renewed, appeal lost etc) may still change their status in the UK without leaving the UK in line with certain immigration legalization under the UK Immigration Law and EU Regulation.
The scope of this issue is rather complex, often relies upon case-law (Upper Tier Tribunal, Court of Appeal, High Court, House of Lords, Supreme Court, European Court of Justice) and requires representation by a qualified lawyer and advocate.
The following brief examples may give you some idea of the in-country legalization options.
7 Year Rule (Children of irregular migrants)
In force from the 9th July 2012. If you are an irregular migrant with an irregular migrant child, who is under the age of 18 and has lived in the UK for t years, that child (and prospectively, the child's parent(s) may regularize their immigration status in the UK.
Irregular migrants who are 18-25 years old
In force from the 9th July 2012. If you are an irregular migrant aged 18-25 and you have lived in the UK half of your life, you may regularize your immigration status in the UK
Irregular migrants who have lived 20 years in the UK
In force from the 9th July 2012. If you are an irregular migrant and you has lived in the UK for 20 years, you may regularize your immigration status in the UK.
Irregular migrants who have lived less than 20 years in the UK
In force from the 9th July 2012. If you are an irregular migrant and you has lived in the UK for less than 20 years and you do not have any ties of any kind with your motherland, you may regularize your immigration status in the UK.
Settlement for irregular migrants
Please note that the 14 Year Rule for irregular migrants, which used to Settlement, was abolished on the 9th July 2012. Instead, people who have remained unlawfully (or initially lawfully and then - unlawfully) in the UK for 20 years may legalize their immigration status in the UK and, if approved, may be granted further leaves to remain in the UK (4 periods of 2.5 years each) totaling 10 years before such migrants may be able to apply for Settlement (ILR) in the UK. In simple language it is a shocking 30 year period before some migrants can be Settled in the UK.
If you entered the UK some 6+ year ago, claimed asylum and your case has not been decided yet, you may also qualify to remain in the UK permanently on the basis of the so-called Legacy Cases.
Marriage to a European citizen
If you marry a European citizen, you may qualify to remain in the UK irrespective of your immigration status (valid visa, visa expired, overstayer, illegal entrant, failed asylum seeker etc).
Marriage to a British citizen who worked in the European Union
If you marry a British citizen, who worked in the European Union, you may qualify to remain in the UK irrespective of your immigration status (valid visa, visa expired, overstayer, illegal entrant, failed asylum seeker etc).
Divorce from a European citizen
If you have been married to a European citizen for 3 or more years and both of your worked in the UK at least for 12 month, you can divorce your European spouse and retain your own right to remain in the UK.
If your child is British
If you are a visa national and your child is British, you may qualify to remain in the UK in case you are being removed or deported.
Human Rights Cases
In some cases a person may be granted a leave to remain in the UK on the basis of certain Articles on Human Rights. Note that in most cases you will have to qualify and meet quite high threshold in order to be granted some sort of status in the UK.
All these scenarios require thorough and extended preparation as well as the knowledge of the relevant Rules and case-law.
The above options are not exhaustive as we treat every client's case individually. Please do not hesitate to book a phone, Skype or office consultation with us for a professional immigration advice and possible further representation before the UK Border Agency or the First Tier or Upper Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (FTT/UTT IAC).
We are here to help: www.legalcentre.org , 077 911 45 923 (Mob/Viber/WhatsApp), 0330 001 0342 and, of course, the helpful instant and same day Legal Centre Skype, Phone, Viber and WhatsApp Consultations