Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents (15/04/2020)

If you are in the UK and your visa has expired or is due to expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020, will be extended to 31 May 2020, if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to COVID-19.

You must update your records with the home office’s, ‘Corona virus immigration team’ by submitting ‘COVID-19’ UK Visa & Immigration form online if you are not planning to stay in the UK.

Soon after submitting the form, you will receive an email asking you to confirm your email address. Once that’s done, home office will respond to you within 5 working days confirming the update of your immigration records to reflect your circumstances.

The link to submit the COVID-19 UK Visa & Immigration form – visa extension to 31 May 2020

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

If you already have a valid visa in the UK and plan to extend when it expires, you do not need to complete this form. You can continue to apply using the appropriate visa & immigration application online.

If you’re applying to stay in the UK long-term

You can apply from UK to switch to a long-term visa until 31 May 2020. 

You have to make the necessary fee payment while submitting your online visa application. The terms of your leave will remain the same until you get your application decision.

Application and Service Centres in the UK

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres, and Service and Support Centres are temporarily closed because of COVID-19. You cannot book an appointment during this time.

If you have already made an appointment

If you have already made an appointment to attend a UK V CAS 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.

If you are on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and your business has been disrupted

You no longer need to employ at least 2 people for 12 consecutive months each. The 12 month period you are required to employ someone for can be made up of multiple employees across different months.

Time when your employees were ‘furloughed’ will not count towards the 12 month period.

If you have not been able to employ staff for 12 months in total by the time of your visa expires, you will be allowed to temporarily extend your stay to give you time to meet the requirement.

If you’re an applicant from outside the UK

All UK Visa Application Centres are closed temporarily. For more updates to the status of Visa Application Centres in your country, contact, TLS contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East, and VFS global for all other countries.

In some areas UK Visa & Immigration cannot send visa vignettes across borders and routes due to restrictions.

If you have an appointment and the Visa Application Centres is now closed, you’ll be contacted and told your appointment will not take place.

English Testing Centres operations are also affected due to COVID-19. Visit the IELTS’s website, or contact your nearest test centre for more information.

Getting your documents

Due to worldwide border, travel and public health restrictions it may not be possible to return your passport at this time.

If you have submitted your passport and would like it returned, you must contact the visa application centre where you logged your application to check see if courier return is available in your location.  

British Nationals abroad

British nationals abroad who need to apply for a new passport urgently to travel to the UK can apply for an emergency travel document. You won’t be able to apply for a British passport if your country‘s Visa Application Centre is closed.

The link to apply for an emergency travel document.

https://www.gov.uk/emergency-travel-document

If you are applying for a Global Talent Start-up or Innovator visa and if your endorsement from an endorsing body has expired, because you have not been able to travel to the UK you may still be eligible for a visa. You should make your application as planned. UK home office will consider all applications on a case by case basis.

Tier 4 student visa applicants

If you have applied for a Tier 4 student visa and waiting for a decision on your application, you can start your studies before your visa application has been decided under these condition.

  • your sponsor is a Tier 4 sponsor.
  • you have been given a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS).
  • you submitted your application before your current visa expired and you show your sponsor evidence of this.
  • the course you start is the same as the one listed on your CAS.
  • you have a valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme(ATAS) certificate if required.

If your application is eventually rejected as invalid or refused you must stop your studies.

Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa applicants 

If you’ve applied for a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa and are waiting for a decision on your application, you can start work before your visa application has been decided under these condition.

  • you have been assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
  • you submitted your application before your current visa expired and you show your sponsor evidence of this
  • the job you start is the same as the one listed on your CoS

If your application is eventually rejected as invalid or refused, your sponsor will stop sponsoring you and you must stop working for them.

Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre

If you have immigration queries related to coronavirus, please email the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre.

On this Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.They will respond to your email within 5 working days.

You can also call the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre.

On Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Calls are free of charge.