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Coronavirus Update 24 March 2020

The government has announced some changes to the immigration policy related to Coronavirus.

For those whose leave expires before 31 May 2020

If your visa expiry date is between 24 January and 31 May and you are unable to leave the country due to the situation with Coronavirus, you have to send an email to the Home Office to CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk. The Home Office requests the following information:

  • your full name
  • date of birth
  • nationality
  • your previous visa reference number
  • why you can’t go back to your home country

The Home Office will notify you after five business days about your visa extension.

It is expected that visas will be automatically extended to 31 May 2020.

Applying for a long-term visa from within the UK

The government has announced that the rules on switching to a long-term UK visa will be relaxed until 31 May. Applicants who are normally required to leave the UK and make an application for entry clearance from their home country can make an application for leave to remain in the UK.

This includes switching from a visit visa to the partner visa, or from PBS Dependant to Tier 2 General.

You will need to meet the rest of the immigration requirements and pay the visa application fee.

At present, it is not clear whether this concession applies only for those whose visa expires before 31 May and whether people who have a longer term on their visas will also be permitted to switch. We have asked the Home Office for clarification.

If you need expert immigration advice in relation to the present situation, please get in touch.

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