26 Mar COVID-19 update
On 24 March 2020, the Home Office published guidance for individuals affected by travel restrictions due to COVID-19.
Visa holders affected in the UK
- If you are in the UK legally and your visa is due to or has expired, and you are unable to leave the UK because of travel restrictions in place, then you will not be regarded as an overstayer.
- Visas will be extended until 31 May 2020, if you cannot leave the UK due to travel restrictions or self-isolation.
However, you must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team to notify them of your situation using the following contact details:
Email: [email protected] or telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) Calls are free of charge.
Individuals should provide the following information:
o Full name (include any middle names)
o DOB (dd/mm/yyyy)
o Existing visa details
o Reason that has required them to extend their stay (for example, the suspension of all flight to their place of permanent residence)
The email must be in English.
- The above applies to individuals of any nationality whose leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 30 May 2020.
Students in the UK
- Tier 4 students are not usually permitted to undertake distance learning courses. However, as a result of COVID-19, they will be able to do so and their sponsor will not be considered to have breached their duties in offering this.
- New international students who have been granted Tier 4 status and are unable to travel to the UK are permitted to undertake distance learning.
- These arrangements will apply until 31 May 2020, and will be subject to a review by the Home Office.
Workers in the UK
- Tier 2 and Tier 2 sponsors are usually required to notify the Home Office of any changes in a migrant’s place of employment. However, they will not be required to notify the Home Office if migrants are working from home due to COVID-19. Any other changes will still need to be reported.
Obtaining evidence of your extension
- You will need to call the Coronavirus Immigration Team, please refer to their contact details above.
Switching visa categories in the UK
- Individuals who wish to switch visa categories and would normally be required to apply for entry clearance from their home country, will be now be able to switch in-country. However, they will still need to meet all the other visa requirements and pay the same application fee.
- They will still need to attend a biometric submission appointment, provided that they act in accordance with the published guidance for this.
- You will not be considered as an overstayer if you are unable to attend a biometric appointment due to coronavirus, or if there are delays in processing your application.