Earlier today, the Home Secretary, Priti Patel announced information for those migrants who are currently restricted to remaining in the UK due to the COVID-19 crisis.
If you are unable to leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation and your leave to remain in the UK expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020, your visa will be extended to 31 May 2020.
You must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) to update your records if your visa is expiring. You should provide:
- your full name (include any middle names)
- date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
- your previous visa reference number
- why you can’t go back to your home country (for example if the border has closed)
The Home Office will then let you know when your request is received and when your visa has been extended.
Would you like to switch visa category to remain in the UK?
During these unprecedented circumstances you will be able to apply from the UK to switch to a long-term UK visa until 31 May 2020. This includes applications where you would usually need to apply for the visa from your home country.
You will need to meet the same visa requirements and pay the UK application fee.
This includes those whose leave has already been automatically extended to 31 March 2020.
Whilst a decision is being made on your application, you will be able to remain in the UK on the same basis as your current immigration status.
General COVID-19 updates
Are you currently outside of the UK and intend to apply for a visa to enter the UK?
Many UK Visa Application Centres (VAC) are closed or offering limited services.
Before you consider submitting an application overseas, please check that the Visa Application Centres are open and considering applications during this time.
Getting your documents
If you currently have an outstanding application or a decision has been made and you have paid for courier return, your passport will be returned if courier routes remain open.
If your passport is currently held in a VAC and you would like it to be returned by courier, please contact either TLS contact or VFS global directly if you have not already paid for courier return.
Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre
If you have immigration queries related to coronavirus, please email the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre in English:
You can also call the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre.
Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Calls are free of charge.
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 and trainee solicitor in our Corporate Team
(Please note that this article is also available in Polish)