Coronavirus: Home Office Guidance

18 Feb 2020, 58 mins ago

In the wake of travel restrictions and increased quarantine measures brought in as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, the UK Home Office has released guidance for Chinese nationals, and those normally resident in China, who are currently on visas in the UK and who may be unsure as to their current status.

Chinese nationals currently in the UK and who prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus had complied with the conditions attached to their leave, and whose leave expires between 24 January and 30 March 2020, will have their leave automatically extended to 31 March 2020.

This extension is automatic and does not require any action on the part of the visa holder. This extension will be an extension of whatever leave you currently hold, under the same conditions.

This extension will be updated on the Home Office’s system, and no new vignette or Biometric Residence Card will be issued.

Those who are planning on applying to the Home Office for an extension or who have already applied for an extension of their leave should do so normally.

Chinese nationals who are in the UK on a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa, whose visa expires between 24 January and 30 March 2020, and who wish to switch to a Tier 2 General visa, can do so exceptionally from within the UK.

Those Chinese nationals who are Tier 4 students or Tier 2/5 employees who are prevented from attending their employment or studies due to the Coronavirus should not fall foul of their sponsor’s absence requirements. The Home Office will not take any compliance action against those sponsors who authorize Coronavirus related absences.

Finally, those non Chinese/non EEA nationals who are normally resident in China, and who are currently in the UK on a visa, or Chinese Nationals who are in the UK on a visa as granted by Irish Authorities or the Crown Dependencies, may be entitled to similar exceptions depending on their specific circumstances.

The Home Office has established a dedicated helpline to deal with all Coronavirus related issues and queries. The Coronavirus Immigration Helpline can be reached on 0800 678 1767: Email:

Gherson specializes in all aspects of UK immigration law. Should you have any specific questions regarding the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on your UK immigration circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us.



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

©Gherson 2020


Spencer Bienvenue 

  Spencer Bienvenue

  Paralegal in our General Immigration team


Navka Raja 

  Navka Raja

  Consultant in our Private Client department