The Home Office has announced that UK visa holders currently unable to leave the UK due to the coronavirus outbreak can apply to have their visas extended until 31 May 2020.
How to extend your UK visa temporarily
The rule will apply if you are in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020, but you are unable to return home due to travel restrictions or self-isolation.
For the extension to be applied, you will need to contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team to update your records: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
You will be asked to provide basic information, including your name, date of birth, nationality and visa reference number. You will also have to confirm the reason why you are unable to leave the UK, such as flight cancellations or border restrictions.
You will then receive official confirmation of your visa extension.
In a Home Office statement, Priti Patel stated no immigration enforcement action will be undertaken during this time for those who apply for the extension as above.
However, those whose visas are extended under the coronavirus provisions will be expected to leave the UK as soon as possible once travel and border restrictions are lifted.
The Home Office will continue to assess the situation and this initial period may be subject to further extension if required.
The Home Office is also making allowances for individuals who would ordinarily have to leave the UK to make an application to switch into a long term visa category, such as the Tier 2 General visa. This concession will apply until 31 May 2020.
Applicants must continue to meet the eligibility requirements of the new route and pay the relevant application fee.
Note that processing may take longer as the Home Office deals with the operational pressures of the coronavirus crisis.
Please contact us if you have any concerns or questions relating to your immigration status or that of any of your employees in the UK.