If you are currently in the UK on the Home Office’s ‘exceptional assurance’ concession, your grace period to remain in the UK will end on 31 October 2020.
‘Exceptional assurance’ is a short-term protection against any negative consequences a migrant may face if they remain the UK after the expiration of their leave. This assurance is not an extension of leave, but merely a concession that allows those whose leave has expired to remain in the UK without any adverse effects. This concession expires on 31 October 2020.
For those who find themselves in this category, the additional time which is granted under the exceptional assurance policy must be used to make arrangements to leave the UK on or before 31 October 2020.
According to the current guidelines, if your visa expires between 1 September 2020 and 31 October 2020 and you are unable to leave the UK (for example, because you cannot find a flight before your leave expires or because you have tested positive for coronavirus), you must request additional time to stay under the ‘exceptional assurance’ concession.
If you have already been granted ‘exceptional assurance’ but your circumstances have changed and you are still unable to leave the UK, you must reapply for ‘exceptional assurance’. You will be required to provide new supporting evidence and state clearly that this is a subsequent application. If you do not follow these guidelines you will be deemed to be present in the UK unlawfully and may face adverse immigration consequences in the future.
At the time of writing, the Home Office has not published any updates to extend the 31 October 2020 deadline for ‘exceptional assurance’.
Those who are currently in the UK benefiting from this concession will no longer be protected against any adverse action or consequences after 31 October 2020, unless they make a valid immigration application for leave to remain in the UK or unless a new application is submitted through the Home Office website for a further grant of ‘exceptional assurance’. The Home Office has not made clear the nature of the status granted for those seeking ‘exceptional assurance’ after 31 October 2020 and no updated guidance has been published to this effect by the Home Office at the time of posting this blog.
Gherson has contacted the Coronavirus Helpdesk and is liaising with the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) to ascertain whether the policy is likely to be extended beyond 31 October 2020.
If you require any assistance or advice with respect to your current 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.