While certain types of visa applications can be made from within the UK, other immigration routes require people to apply from the country in which they are usually resident.
However, restrictions on movement across borders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic created significant challenges for individuals who were not able to leave the UK in order to submit entry clearance visa applications. This particularly affected visitors who were not usually able to switch to long-term work or study routes from within the UK.
In response, the Home Office implemented a temporary policy for those who could not leave the UK in order to apply from within the UK. The policy has changed and been extended many times over the last 18 months. It appears that it is now being wound down. The policy currently states: “You can make an application for permission to stay in the UK if you hold permission in a route that would normally allow you to do so, or if your current permission or visa expires before 1 July”.
Migrants were also able to apply for permission to stay in the UK if they have been issued with an “exceptional assurance” before the expiry of that “exceptional assurance”. Migrants whose leave expired after 1 July 2021 can no longer switch to long-term work or study routes in the UK if they are not normally able to do so.
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