COVID-19 guidance update

On 1 November 2020, the Home Office updated the COVID-19 guidance/list of concessions.

Migrants unable to leave the UK due to the pandemic, whose leave to enter and remain will expire between 1 November 2020 and 30 November 2020, will be able to lawfully stay in the UK until 30 November 2020 or beyond by applying for an ‘exceptional assurance’”

In addition, if the migrant is successfully granted ‘exceptional assurance’, the latter will act as a short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences following the expiry of their leave. Please note that the individual may continue to work, study or rent accommodation during the period of the exceptional assurance.

Applicants will need to submit credible evidence as to why they cannot leave the UK, medical (for instance, they are in quarantine) or otherwise (if they are unable to find a flight prior to their visa expires, the migrant will need to submit a copy of a confirmed flight ticket).

During the consideration period of the exceptional assurance, the migrant will not be treated as an overstayer.

However, if the individual has already been granted an assurance but their circumstances have now changed and  he/she is unable to leave the UK by the assurance date previously granted, they must reapply it via the online form:

If your leave expires after 31 October 2020

Migrants can submit an application from within the UK where they would usually need to apply for an entry clearance from their home country.

However, individuals will need to show their application is urgent, for example, if they need to start a new job or course of study. Applicants have to provide full details in a cover letter enclosed with the supporting documents. Migrants will also need to pay the relevant UKVI fees and meet all requirements of the visa application.

If you have overstayed your leave

For foreign applicants, whose visa/leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 August 2020, there will be no future adverse immigration consequences if they didn’t make an application to regularise their stay during this period.

However, if the migrant has not applied to regularise their stay or submitted a request for an exceptional assurance, he/she must make arrangement to leave the UK.

If you’re a Student or Child Student applicant in the UK and have given your fingerprints before

Individuals who are applying in the UK as a Student or Child Student, might be able to reuse their fingerprints. The applicant will be emailed instructions on how to send them an image of their face and supporting documents.

This means that migrants do not have to attend a UKVCAS or an SSC service point appointment to provide biometric information. However, if they cannot provide the evidence required, they will be able to book an appointment at one of the many visa centres.

Changes to the minimum income and adequate maintenance requirement

If the applicant has experienced a loss of income due to coronavirus up to 1 January 2021, the Home Office will consider the employment income for the period immediately before the loss of income, provided the minimum income requirement was met for at least 6 months immediately prior to the loss of their income.

If the salary was reduced because the migrant is furloughed or paid through the job support scheme, the Home Office will take account of the income as though they are earning 100% of their salary.

If the individual is self-employed, a loss of annual income due to coronavirus between 1 March 2020 and 1 January 2021 will usually be disregarded, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the UK visa application, 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.
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