COVID-19 guidance update

On 23 December 2020, the Home Office updated COVID-19 guidance.

If your leave expires between 1 December 2020 and 31 January 2021

If migrants intend to leave the UK but have not been able to do so due to the pandemic, they will need to apply for ‘exceptional assurance’ by emailing [email protected] with the following details: full name, date of birth, nationality, Home Office, GWF or any other reference number, type of visa, expiry date of visa, reason for request and evidence of flight or evidence showing reason they can’t leave the UK.

Please note that migrants will need to provide evidence to show why they are unable to leave the UK. For instance, if they can’t leave due to the fact their flight has been cancelled, they will need to submit a copy of a confirmed flight ticket or if they can’t leave the UK due to COVID-19, they will need to submit confirmation of their positive coronavirus test result.

If you intend to stay in the UK

Individuals will be able to submit an application in country whereas they would usually need to apply for a visa from their home country. However, applicants will need to meet the requirements of the scheme they are applying for and pay the relevant UKVI fees.

Migrants will need to provide evidence that their application is urgent. For instance, if they need to start a new job or course of study, they need to provide a cover letter with full details and supporting documents.

Individuals will also be able to apply for leave to remain to regularise their stay if they have been issued with ‘exceptional assurance’. Applicants will need to meet the requirements of the scheme they are applying for, pay the relevant UKVI fees and they must submit their application prior to the expiry of their ‘exceptional assurance’.

If you’ve applied for a work visa and are waiting for a decision on your application

If you have applied for a Skilled Worker visa, Health and Care Worker visa, Intra-company Transfer visa, Tier 2 Worker visas or Tier 5 Temporary Worker visas, you are allowed to start working before your visa application has been decided if:

  • You have been assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and either you are applying under the Health and Care visa or it was assigned before 1 January 2021, and;
  • You submitted your application before your current visa expired and you show your sponsor evidence of this;
  • The job you intend to start is the same as the one listed on your CoS.


Please note that if your CoS is assigned from 1 January 2021 and you are not applying under the Health and Care visa, you must wait until your visa application has been granted before starting employment, unless your current visa allows you to work in that job.

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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