Please note that the information provided in this blog will not apply to you if you have been granted any of the following:
- A 2-year, 5-year or 10-year Visitor visa;
- A short-term study visa (even if you have been issued with a visa for 11 months to study an English Language Course);
- An EEA Family Permit; or
- A Fiancé visa.
Have you applied for a visa to enter the UK which enables you to enter and remain for a period in excess of six months?
If you have been granted Leave to Enter the UK, you will first be issued with a ‘vignette’ that will be endorsed in your passport. A vignette is a sticker placed in your passport which will only permit you to travel to and enter the UK within the 30 day period. This is specified on the vignette as an issue date and end date.
The vignette will usually start on the date that you indicated as your intended travel date in your visa application. However, special arrangement apply to some applications under the Points Based System, such as:
- Tier 2 - your vignette will normally start 14 days before the start date of your employment in the UK as recorded on the Certificate of Sponsorship;
- Tier 5 Temporary Worker - your vignette may start up to 14 days before the start of your engagement;
- Tier 4 - your vignette will normally start either one month before the start of your course or 7 days before your intended travel date whichever is the later.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many difficulties for those who are currently overseas and have already been issued with a 30-day vignette, but who are currently restricted from travelling to the UK due to worldwide border, travel and public health restrictions.
The UK Government have confirmed that if your 30-day vignette to travel to the UK for work, study or join a family member has expired or is about to expire, you can request a replacement vignette with revised validity dates at no extra charge until the end of this year.
To make a request, you must email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk and provide the following details:
- ‘REPLACEMENT 30 DAY VISA’ in the subject line;
- Your name;
- Date of birth; and
- GWF reference number.
When the Visa Application Centres have re-opened, you will be contacted to arrange for a replacement vignette to be endorsed in your passport.
Once you have entered the UK on the 30-day vignette, you are usually required to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (“BRP”).
A BRP is a document which confirms your identity, right to study or work in the UK and the right to any public services or benefits that you may be entitled to.
Your decision letter will tell you the date from which your BRP is expected to be available and the Post Office that you must attend to collect your BRP. Alternatively, if your sponsor (i.e. your employer) is approved by the Home Office to receive your BRP, they will notify you when and where your BRP will be ready for collection. The earliest the BRP can usually be collected will be either before your vignette expires or within 10 days of arriving in the UK, whichever is later.
If you do not collect your BRP, you could receive a fine of up to £1,000, however, whilst COVID-19 measures are in place the Government have confirmed that you will not be penalised for being unable to collect your BRP.
Please note that the information in this blog is current at the date and time of posting. The situation regarding policy and guidance based on the COVID-19 pandemic is subject to change at short notice. We shall be monitoring all aspects of UK immigration which may be impacted by the coronavirus closely, so please do keep updated with further blogs and articles which we will be posting on this site.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Consultant, Trainee Solicitor and joint head of our corporate team