How to extend your immigration visa in light of COVID-19

03 Apr 2020

If you’re in the UK and your visa expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020 your visa will be extended to 31 May 2020 if you cannot leave the country because of travel restrictions or self-isolation.

What’s Happening?

  1. If you’re in the UK and your visa expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020 your visa will be extended to 31 May 2020 if you cannot leave the country because of travel restrictions or self-isolation. You must register with the Home Office Coronavirus Immigration Team CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk to take advantage of the extension. This only applies to those who were planning to leave the UK and have been prevented from doing so by Covid-19. It is not, repeat not, a general extension for all visa holders.
  2. Doctors, nurses and paramedics employed by the NHS whose visas expire before 1 October 2020 are to be granted an automatic extension of their visa for one year.
  3. Appointments with Sopra Steria to give biometrics and scan documents for in-country applications are being suspended.

Why is this important?

Travel restrictions, self isolation and social distancing make many immigration applications more difficult than usual and in some cases impossible. These measures are required to maintain the integrity of the system which underpins the rules.

What should you do?

If your UK visa is expiring you should take advice as soon as possible. Each case depends on it’s own circumstances but generally, if you have grounds for extending your visa you must submit a valid application before your personal deadline. Your application may then be paused and your current immigration status preserved pending the easing of social restrictions. We can’t emphasise enough that doing nothing is not an option.

If you need any further guidance, please contact our experienced team of employment and Immigration solicitors on 0800 2800 421 or email Employment.Alert@trethowans.com to find out how we can help.

Author

James Humphery

Senior Solicitor