The Second Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, Shona Dunn, has stated that the Home Office does not intending to extend the Coronavirus Policy to automatically extend visas beyond 31 July 2020. The Home Office will instead look to make case-by-case assessments.
Until now, those with visas or leave expiring between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 could apply to have their visas extended without any additional cost by completing an online form notifying the Home Office of their circumstances. The policy was intended to ensure that those who were unable to leave the UK for COVID-19 related reasons, such as self-isolation or travel restrictions, were not at risk of overstaying their leave in the UK. Ms Dunn confirmed that “many, many thousands of requests” had been dealt with since the introduction of the policy.
Any migrant who needs to extend their leave beyond 31 July 2020 will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. It has been stated that where the Home Office consider there are “good reasons why someone cannot leave … we absolutely will make sure that will go down on our systems”. Ms Dunn further advised that she was “confident that everyone who comes to us needing help will be dealt with appropriately”.
Given the ongoing severity of the Coronavirus pandemic, particularly in the US and South America, we continue to monitor any updates by the Home Office in regards to the temporary concessions in place to those who are unable to enter or leave the UK due to COVID-19.
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.