COVID-19 guidance update

On 29 July 2020, the Home Office updated the COVID-19 guidance.

If you are in the UK and your leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020

Migrants will no longer be able to extend their visa automatically if their leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020. They are expected to take reasonable steps to leave the UK, where it is possible to do so or apply to regularise their stay in the UK.

If you decide to leave the UK

For those whose visa or leave is due to expire between the 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020, they will be granted a grace period until 31 August 2020. This is to allow them to make the necessary arrangements to leave the UK. Individuals do not need to contact the Home Office to extend their leave until 31 August 2020, this will be done automatically.

If migrants intend to leave the UK but are not able to do so by 31 August 2020, they may request additional time to stay in the UK, known as ‘exceptional indemnity.’ This request is made by contacting the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT). This will act as short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences after their leave has expired.

The CIT will provide individuals with further guidance on what they need to do to request indemnity. This will include providing details of why they are unable to leave the UK as well as supporting evidence of this. For example, a confirmed flight ticket with a travel date after 31 August or confirmation of a positive coronavirus test result.

If you intend to stay in the UK

If individuals decide to stay in the UK, they should apply for leave to remain. Where an applicant would usually need to apply for entry clearance from their country of residence or nationality, an application can be submitted from within the UK instead.

However, they will need to meet the requirements under the relevant visa category and pay the UKVI fees. This includes those whose leave has already been extended to 31 July 2020 and now, 31 August 2020.

If you have overstayed your leave

If your visa or leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020, there will be no adverse consequences if you did not submit an application to regularise your stay in the UK. However, you must now do so from 1 August 2020.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of UK immigration, please contact our team on 0203 384 3075.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.


We remain open for business and can arrange meetings by phone call or video conferencing to advise and assist with any UK immigration matters.
Click here for further information regarding COVID-19