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© 2014 - 2020 by Visa Solutions

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - UK visas - Latest guidance published on 24 March 2020, updated:6 April 2020

Updated: 12 hours ago


The Home office has published its latest guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents, below are the important points to note:


Who is eligible to apply for a short visa extension?

You should apply to the Coronavirus Immigration Team, for your visa to be extended till 31 May 2020, if:


  • You are in the UK and your visa expiry date is between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020

And

Either you are unable to travel to your home country due to travel restrictions such as no flights available to your home country or you already booked a flight/attended the airport to board a flight, but the flight was cancelled or since your home country has stopped all incoming flights either from the UK or has fully closed its borders.

Or

You are in Self - Isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19). You will have to describe any reasons as to why you are in self-isolation, for example, you came in contact with someone affected by coronavirus or travelled to a high risk country such as Italy, China, etc.


What is the difference between the previous guidance and this new guidance?

Please note that as per the previous guidance you were not required to do anything and your visa was deemed to be extended till 31 March 2020.

However, as per this new guidance, you are required to apply to Home Office and get an approval from them, this adds a bit of discretion to the decision making wherein a caseworker will look at the reasons and any evidence provided, and will decide on a case by case basis.


Do I have to submit any explanation or evidence with my application?


Since there is decision to be made by the caseworker so there is some level of discretion in the decision-making, hence it is advisable to submit some evidence, however, as per the update on 6/4/2020, the Applicant is required to fill up an online form(see below) instead of an email application, hence, it is not possible to submit any evidence through this online form.


However, during the consideration of your request/application, if the caseworker contacts the applicant for any further information/documents, then we strongly advise that you give your reasons in detail and send the caseworker any evidence such as flight tickets already booked, cancellation emails from the Flight Carrier, any emails or links of reputed Government Websites of your home country, confirming that you will not be allowed to enter or flights are not allowed to land either from the UK or borders have been closed completely, etc.


How do I apply?

You should fill up the online form at the below link:

https://gov.smartwebportal.co.uk/homeoffice/public/webform.asp?id=199&id2=5C97E7


You will need to provide the below information:



Then you will receive an automated reply confirming that your request is received asking you to confirm your email address, then you should confirm your email address within 48 hours, by clicking on the link in the email received.


The Caseworkers will decide the cases in the order of receipt on a first-come-first-served basis, you will be sent an email with the decision within 5 working days.


Please note that most of the Home Office caseworkers are also working from Home and some are also self-isolating, hence, there may be a delay in receiving a response.


When should I file this email application?

File the email application within time:

It is advisable to send the request on or before 31 March 2020 or latest by the expiry date of your visa, if your visa is valid beyond 31 March 2020, in order for you to be able to stay in the UK legally till the date when a decision is made on your application.


You will receive a decision by email within 5 working days.


The Settlement Resolution Centre telephone lines(for EU Settlement Scheme) are currently closed since the coronavirus situation, hence we are expecting that the staff would have been diverted to the Coronavirus Immigration Team to support the increased caseload.

Who is eligible to apply for a Long Term UK Visa from within the UK?

  • If you are in the UK and you intended to leave the UK and then apply for a Long term UK Visa(Entry Clearance Application) since you were not allowed to switch to the Long Term UK Visa from within the UK,

For example - Tourist(visa/entry) switching to Settlement visa(Spouse, Partner, Fiancé/ée", etc.) or Tier 2 visa, etc.

And

  • You had a valid leave to remain in the UK till 23 January 2020 or later

OR

  • Your respective Long Term UK visa category excuses/pardons any of your Overstay(beyond visa expiry date) in the UK.

For example - an Individual without leave or with expired leave who is applying for a Settlement visa as a Spouse or Partner(Unmarried or Civil Partner), etc.


Then, you will be able to apply for the respective Long Term visa from within the UK, please note that your online visa application for the Long Term visa should be submitted and fees paid latest by 31 May 2020. It does not matter if your Biometrics appointment at a Sopra Steria Location is later that 31 May 2020

Please note that you will have to meet the respective Long Term visa requirement and pay the required fees (including the Immigration Health Surcharge, if applicable)

If you are outside the UK and you are unable to attend your appointment to enrol your biometrics and/or submit your documents because your appointment was cancelled by the UK Visa Application Centre (VAC) , then on a regular basis, you should keep checking the website UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) for any updates and your emails to see if your appointments have been rebooked.


If you already had booked an appointment with the VAC which has been cancelled, you should have already received an email informing you that the appointment has been cancelled.


If you are awaiting your documents from the UK Visa Application Centres (VACs), then you should directly contact UK Visa Application Centres (VACs), details in the below link:


UKVI Guidance link below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents?utm_source=31202869-fd45-4fbc-bc79-e169265b1978&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate#helpline

If you have any specific questions about your UK visa vis-a-vis the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, please feel free to ask your questions through any of the following links:

  1. COVID-19 Immigration Forum at https://www.visa-solutions.co.uk/uk-immigration-forum/coronavirus-covid-19

  2. Email @ info@visa-solutions.co.uk

  3. Fill our “Ask for Consultation” form on our website at:

https://www.visa-solutions.co.uk/


We request you to avoid calling us(unless really necessary/urgent), as we are experiencing higher than normal call volumes and we are working from home as well.