UK Visas and Immigration (‘UKVI’) published guidance on 24 March 2020 for visa nationals who are currently in the UK on temporary visas and cannot return to their country of residence due to travel restrictions as a result of the Coronavirus (‘COVID-19’).
For non-EEA Nationals who are currently in the United Kingdom (‘UK’)
If you are currently in the UK and your leave has expired or expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020, you can apply to extend your visa until 31 May 2020.
You will only be able to apply to extend your visa if you cannot leave the UK because of ‘travel restrictions’ or ‘self-isolation’ related to COVID-19.
In order to apply for an extension of your visa, you will be required to email the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) at CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk and inform UKVI that your visa is expiring and provide an explanation why you cannot return to your country of residence.
You will be required to provide the following:
- your full name (include any middle names)
- date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
- your previous visa reference number
- an explanation why you cannot return to your home country, e.g. no flights or the border has closed
UKVI will let you know when your request has been received and whether your visa has been extended.
Non-EEA Nationals applying to stay in the UK on a long-term term visa
Due to exceptional circumstances, visa applicants who would usually need to apply for a visa from their country of residence will be able to apply from within the UK to switch to a long-term UK visa. This concession will only apply until 31 May 2020.
You will, however, still need to meet the same visa requirements and pay the UK application fee, e.g. Tier 4 students who wish to switch to a Tier 2 (General) Visa will still be required to meet all the requirements.
You can apply online. The terms of your leave will remain the same until your application is decided.
If you’re currently outside the UK
Due to COVID-19, many UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) are closed or offering limited services.
For advice on visa services in your country, contact:
- TLS contactif you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
- VFS globalfor all other countries
If you have an appointment and the VAC is now closed, you will be informed that your appointment will not be taking place.
If you have any immigration queries due to the impact of COVID-19, please contact our immigration team on 0161 826 6922 or email us at email@example.com.