Home Office extends the Coronavirus policy for individuals who are unable to leave the UK

The Home Office announced that a new policy will put into place for individuals who are unable to leave the UK due to the Coronavirus. This has now been extended so that:

  • If you’re in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020, you can now request an extension of stay until 31 July 2020.
  • In-country switching rules continue to be relaxed for individuals who wish to remain in the UK on a long-term basis.
  • Tier 2 visa applicants can begin work whilst a decision on their application is pending.

If you’re in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020

Your visa will be extended to 31 July 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

If this coronavirus visa extension policy applies to you then you must apply for this extension by updating this information with the Coronavirus Immigration Team via an online form as the extension is not automatic. 

If your visa has already been extended to 31 May 2020 then your leave will be extended automatically to 31 July 2020.

Making an In-Country application

The new policy states that rules on switching will be relaxed, in order to allow individuals to switch into long-term visas in the UK, where they would usually need to leave the UK to apply for a visa from outside of the UK. For example, a person currently on a visit visa who is thinking of applying for a Sole Representative visa could submit the application from within the UK until 31 July 2020, however, only if their visa is due to expire before 31 July 2020.

If you’re an employee who’s waiting for their Tier 2 or 5 visa application to be decided

You may start work your visa application has been decided if:

  •  you have been assigned a CoS
  • you submitted your application before your current visa expired
  • the role in which you are employed is the same as the one on the CoS

Get in touch with our immigration lawyers

For advice on the above immigration policies or if you are being affected by the Coronavirus, contact our immigration lawyers on 0207 887 1916 or complete the enquiry form.