UK Visa and Immigration Advice during the COVID-19 spread

Today, the 22 May 2020, the Home Office have updated their guidance for UK Visa Applicants in the UK and their visa (leave expires) between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020

Your visa will be extended to 31 July 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.

If you have already had your visa extended to 31 May 2020 you visa will be extended automatically to 31 July 2020.

You must request an extension by updating your records with the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) if your visa is expiring and you cannot leave the UK at present BUT ARE NOT planning to stay in the UK in the long term.

If you intend to remain in the UK in the long-term please see below (Advice for Applicants who are applying to stay in the UK long-term)

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.

You will be expected to return to your home country as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

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 July 2020, if your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020. This includes applications where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country.

This includes those whose leave has already been extended to 31 July 2020.

You can apply online. The terms of your leave will remain the same until your application is decided.

Application and Service Centres in the UK

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS) and Service and Support Centres (SSCs) are temporarily closed because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You cannot book an appointment.

If you’ve already made an appointment

If you’ve already made an appointment to attend a UKVCAS or an SSC, you will be contacted to be informed that it has been cancelled. You’ll be advised when you can book a new appointment.

Your immigration status in the UK will not change as a result of you not being able to attend an appointment however the online application must be submitted to the Home Office. The date of the application is the date when it was submitted (and paid for) online.

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 deemed necessary and 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. Applicants for Global Talent, Tier 1 Innovator and Tier 1 Start Up visas are advised that the endorsement stage of the applications remain unaffected. Applications for endorsement are prepared, submitted and considered by the relevant designated endorsing body with no interruptions in the services.  

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, call us on 0203 980 9348 or fill in the form for a call back.

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