Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents

If you’re in the UK

If you had a visa that expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 you were able to request an extension if you were not able to return home because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Additionally, if you had leave which expired between 24 January and 31 August 2020, including those who received an extension between this period, you were able to take advantage of a grace period between 1 August to 31 August 2020. The conditions of your stay in the UK were the same as the conditions of your leave. If conditions allowed you to work, study or rent accommodation you were able to continue doing so during August 2020.

Now travel restrictions are lifting globally you will no longer be able to extend your visa on this basis and you are expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK where it is possible to do so or apply to regularise your stay in the UK. Call us on 0207 237 3388 or email us on if you need help on extending your leave to remain. 

If you intend to stay in the UK

If you decide to stay in the UK, you should apply for the necessary leave to remain in the UK. You’ll also be able to submit an application form from within the UK where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country. You’ll need to meet the requirements of the route you’re applying for and pay the UK application fee.

If your leave expires after 31 August 2020

You can submit an application form from within the UK where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country.

You’ll need to show your application is urgent, for example if you need to start a new job or course of study, please provide full details of this in a covering letter with your supporting documents.

You’ll need to pay the fees and meet all requirements of your visa as normal, except the need to submit the application in your home country.

This is being kept under review.

If you have overstayed your leave

If your visa or leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 August 2020 there will be no future adverse immigration consequences if you didn’t make an application to regularise your stay during this period. However, if you did not apply for an exceptional assurance by 31 August 2020 you must make arrangements to leave the UK.

Application and Service Centres in the UK

Some UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS) have reopened for existing customers. You can check which UKVCAS centres are open.

Service and Support Centres (SSCs) are offering a reduced number of appointments because of coronavirus. As more appointments are made available UKVI will invite you to arrange an appointment by email or post.

If you’re a Tier 4 student applicant in the UK and have given your fingerprints before

If you’re applying in the UK as a Tier 4 student, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may be able to reuse your fingerprints.

If UKVI can reuse the fingerprints you’ve already given, you’ll be emailed with instructions on how to send them an image of your face and your supporting documents.

This will mean you do not have to attend a UKVCAS or an SSC service point appointment to provide biometric information.

If you cannot send the information through the instructions given, you’ll be able to book an appointment.

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