UK Visa and Immigration Advice during the COVID-19 spread

Advice for UK Visa Applicants in the UK and their visa (leave expires) between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020

Your visa will be extended to 31 May 2020 in the circumstances where you cannot leave the UK because of the travel restrictions imposed or as a result of self-isolation related to coronavirus. Applicants must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team of Home Office to update their records if their visa is expiring.

The Home Office then must notify and confirm that the visa has been extended.

IMPORTANT: Please take a cautious approach to the new coronavirus extension policy. If your leave to remain in the UK is about to expire, providing the details requested by the Home Office does not extend leave under section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971.

This advice will be reviewed in line with any guidance received from the Home Office.

If your reasons are not accepted you may become an overstayer. If your leave is about to expire and you wish to remain in the UK, you MUST submit an extension application (please see below for the possibility to switch in-country).

Those who contact the Home Office for the visa extension under the COVID-19 immigration guidance will be expected to return to their home countries as soon as possible once flight and border restrictions are lifted.

Advice for Applicants who are applying to stay in the UK long-term

During these unique circumstances you’ll be able to apply from the UK to switch to a long-term UK visa until 31 May. This includes applications where applicant would usually need to apply for a visa from applicant’s home country. Applicant will need to meet the same visa requirements and pay the UK application fee.

This includes those whose leave has already been automatically extended to 31 March 2020. Applicant can apply online. The terms of their leave will remain the same until their application is decided, however applicant cannot book an appointment as UK Visa Application Centres; Post Office Enrolment Services are temporarily closed until further notice.

If applicant has already made an appointment or have a biometric enrolment letter

Applicant’s immigration status will not be negatively affected as a result of them not being able to attend an appointment or enrol biometrics at the Post Office.

If applicant is outside the UK

Many UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) are closed or offering limited services. In some areas the UK cannot send visa vignettes across some borders and routes due to border restrictions. If applicant has an appointment and the VAC is now closed, they will be contacted and told their appointment will not take place. English Testing Centres are also affected.

CONSULTATION FROM OUR IMMIGRATION LAWYERS

  • We continue to serve our clients by providing legal advice and assistance on UK Visas, Immigration and Nationality matters.
  • We are taking measures to protect our clients and ourselves in line with Government advice. This causes no interruption in our correspondence with applicants/clients, UK Visa officials and the Courts, where necessary.
  • You can request consultation from our immigration lawyers over the phone or via Skype or Zoom conferences. Face-to-face appointments are also arranged where determined essential.
  • We advise applicants to take this opportunity due to the COVID-19 and make sure they remain first in the queue to make the immigration application and attend the appointment once the restrictions are lifted.

Please speak to our immigration lawyers for an advice on:

  1. Application from outside the UK and the visa centre is closed;
  2. Application from within the UK;
  3. You cannot get all the mandatory documents in time as a result of a disruption caused by COVID-19;
  4. If you are already past the deadline of applying for the visa from the UK;

We advise applicants applying from outside the UK to not delay the applications. Although immediate travel is not possible, we expect a large number of applications and appointment-bookings as soon as the restrictions are lifted. Delaying the submission of application may therefore lead to an additional delay as a result of inability to make a timely booking of visa/biometric appointment.    

What we/you can do during this period:

  • We can complete and submit the on-line application;
  • We can work on gathering the necessary mandatory evidence
  • We can upload the evidence.
  • Your case will be prepared and the necessary documents will be submitted online together with your visa application form. We will liaise with you regarding updates and date of arrival in the UK so that the interruption of your travel plans to the UK are kept to a minimum.

For a free confidential discussion about your immigration matter and how it will have an impact during the COVID-19 spread, call us on 0203 980 9348 or fill in the form for a call back

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