The Home Office have modified their Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents.
The ‘If you’re in the UK’ section has been amended, updating the exceptional assurance visa or leave expiry date to 30 September 2022.
If your Visa Application Centre (VAC) is closed due to corona-virus restrictions, you can apply online and select a VAC in another country worldwide to submit your application and biometric. You’ll need to make sure you’re permitted to travel to that country beforehand. This concession has been extended to 30th June 2022.
There have been changes to ‘If you’re applying to enter the UK or remain on the basis of family or private life’:
- The temporary concession for coronavirus (COVID-19) related research has ended.
- People in receipt of an endorsement from a Global Talent endorsing body who have not been able to apply for a visa within the 3-month deadline due to Covid-19 related reasons, may still be eligible.
Several changes have been made based on the circumstances:
If you’re in the UK:
You are expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK where it is possible to do so or apply to regularize your stay in the UK. You are allowed to access Visa and Immigration services as these are considered essential public service and will continue to operate safely under local and national restrictions.
If you intend to leave the UK but have not been able to do so and you have a visa or leave that expires by 30 June 2021 you may request additional time to stay, known as ‘exceptional assurance’.
Please submit your request for an exceptional assurance by emailing email@example.com with the following details:
- full name
- date of birth
- Home Office, GWF or any other reference number
- type of visa
- expiry date of visa
- reason for request
- evidence of flight or evidence showing reason you can’t leave
The subject header of your email should read “Request for an assurance”.
In your email, you should attach evidence to show why you cannot leave the UK. For example, if you can’t leave the UK because you can’t find a flight before your leave/visa expires, you’ll need to submit a copy of a confirmed flight ticket. If you can’t leave the UK because you have corona virus, you’ll need to submit confirmation of your positive corona virus test result.
During the time in which your request for ‘exceptional assurance’ is pending you will continue on the conditions as per your current or most recently expired visa.
If you’re in the UK:
If you are granted ‘exceptional assurance’ it will act as short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences after your leave has expired. If conditions allowed you to work, study or rent accommodation you may continue to do so during the period of your exceptional assurance. Exceptional assurance does not grant you leave. It is a means to protect those who are unable to leave the UK due to COVID-19 restrictions and not to facilitate travel, other than to return home.
If you’ve already been given assurance but your circumstances have changed or you’re unable to leave the UK by the assurance date previously given, you must reapply using the process above. You will need to clearly state that you’re making a subsequent application. You’ll be asked to provide new supporting evidence.
If you intend to stay in the UK
In order to remain in the UK, you will need to apply for the relevant permission to stay. Where eligible, you’ll be able to submit a permission to stay application form from within the UK.
You can make an application for permission to stay in the UK if you hold permission in a route that would normally allow you to do so, or if your current permission or visa expires before 1 July.
You’ll need to meet the requirements of the route you’re applying for and pay the UK application fee. You will not be able to apply for a route for which there is no provision in the Immigration Rules for making an in-country application, such as T5 Youth Mobility Scheme, or Adult Dependant Relative.
The terms of your current permission will remain the same until your application is decided. If you are switching into work or study routes you may be able to commence work or study whilst your application is under consideration, depending on the terms of your current permission.
You are also able to apply for permission to stay to remain in the UK if you have been issued with an ‘exceptional assurance’. You must submit your application before the expiry of your ‘exceptional assurance’.
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 regularize your stay during this period. However, if you have not applied to regularize your stay or submitted a request for an exceptional assurance you must make arrangements to leave the UK.
Application and service centers in the UK
As immigration and visa services are essential service you can still travel to attend your appointment and enrol your bio metrics.
Most UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centers (UKVCAS) have reopened for existing customers. You can check which UKVCAS centers are open and book an appointment if you have not already done so.
UKVCAS Service Points are essential services and will remain open throughout the UK so customers can continue to book and attend appointments to progress their visa applications.
Service and Support Centers (SSCs) are essential services and will remain open. SSCs are offering a reduced number of appointments because of corona virus. As more appointments are made available UKVI will invite you to arrange an appointment by email or post.
If you have been asked to enrol your bio-metrics at a participating Post Office branch you can travel to your nearest branch. Further details are contained in your biometric enrolment letter.
If you’re a Student or Child Student applicant in the UK and have given your fingerprints before
If you’re applying in the UK as a Student or Child Student (including 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.
Novaturient is a Licensed Immigration consultant that offer Visa services in acquiring Permanent Resident Visa, Student Visa and Visit Visa for countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Schengen Countries and the UK.
Call us: 9731473738