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Coronavirus News: Government Announces Temporary Changes to Visa Extensions & Switching

Coronavirus News: Government Announces Temporary Changes to Visa Extensions & Switching

Are you looking for advice on extending or switching your UK Visa? Are you concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on your UK immigration status? Please call us now on on 0333 305 9375 to speak to a qualified immigration expert about your case.

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Coronavirus News: Government Announces Temporary Changes to Visa Extensions & Switching

The UK government has announced that individuals whose visas have expired and are unable to return home due to Covid-19 will have their visas extended until 31st May.

Also, the Home Office is temporarily extending its in-country switching provisions, which will enable those who wish to remain in the UK long-term to switch their visas more easily.

Temporary visa extensions will be granted to anyone whose leave expired after 24th January and who cannot leave the UK because of self-isolation or travel restrictions.

Many foreign nationals have been unable to return home since the spread of Covid-19 intensified due to flight cancellations and border restrictions.

Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said:

“The UK continues to put the health and wellbeing of people first and nobody will be punished for circumstances outside of their control…

By extending people’s visas, we are giving people peace of mind and also ensuring that those in vital services can continue their work”.

Anyone in this situation can email the Home Office at [email protected] to explain that they are in need of a visa extension due to travel restrictions.

Temporary visa extensions will be granted to anyone whose leave expired after 24th January and who cannot leave the UK because of self-isolation or travel restrictions.

The government has said that no immigration enforcement will be undertaken against those who email the Home Office as explained above.

However, the Home Office did emphasise that individuals who are given a visa extension through this new scheme must still leave the country as soon as possible after flight and border restrictions are lifted.

In-Country Switching Provisions

In the same release, the Home Office also announced that it is temporarily extending its in-country switching provisions, which will enable those who wish to remain in the UK long-term to switch their visas more easily.

This means that those who would normally need to leave the UK to apply for entry clearance in a different immigration category will now, at least temporarily, be able to do so in the UK.

Sponsor Licence Changes

In light of the current advice on social distancing, the Home Office has also relaxed some of the conditions which sponsor licence employers need to abide by.

These changes permit non-EU national workers to undertake their work and study at home.

Do You Need to Apply for a UK Visa Extension?

As it currently stands, foreign nationals who were due to leave the UK after 24th January will still be required to leave the UK after 31st May. If an individual who falls into this category remains in the UK after 31st May, they will be liable to prosecution.

A foreign national whose visa is due to expire on 31st May will need to apply for a visa extension (or apply to switch their visa) if they wish to remain in the UK after 31st May. If an individual receives an extension on their visa, their immigration status in the UK will be secured.

Some of the visas which can be extended include:

Here at the Immigration Advice Service we can provide expert guidance to those who wish to extend their UK Visa, or apply to switch their visa, in order to remain in the UK long-term. During these confusing times, the importance of professional expertise cannot be overstated.

The IAS understands that this is a particularly difficult time for many foreign nationals in the UK. To help support those in need we have increased our phone and video call appointments, which are now available from 7:30 to 22:00 seven days per week.

To speak to one of our immigration law specialists, please call us now on 0333 305 9375.

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