Coronavirus and UK Visas -Part 2
27 / 03 / 2020
The Home Office have now announced further developments to their coronavirus policy ( see https://wedlakebell.com/coronavirus-and-uk-visas-part-1/) . The new policy announcement widens the previous arrangements to all nationalities caught in the UK and unable to travel because of travel restrictions or because they are self-isolating.
Anyone in this category and whose permission to be in the UK expired after 24 January can now extend their status to 31 May and a dedicated COVID-19 team has been set up at the Home office to streamline the process. The team can be reached by email to advise of the visa expiry and an extension should then be granted to the existing visa.
This option is likely to work best for visitors or those in the UK on a short stay basis only – anyone who has a long term status that can ordinarily be renewed in the UK will need to take advice specific to their situation.
The policy announcement also covers an expansion of the types of immigration application that can be made in the UK (without needing to leave and apply for a new visa overseas). But prospective applicants will need to ensure that they are eligible before making an application or risk a refusal as all other usual criteria for the new immigration category will still be enforced.
We are still keenly awaiting official word on those long term UK residents currently overseas not able to return to the UK who are worrying about the impact of excess absences on further applications – more on this to follow.