IAS is aware that there are many people in the UK who are Chinese nationals that cannot or do not want to return to China due to the Coronavirus. The Home Office has made it clear that anyone who has a visa that has an expiry date between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020 it will automatically be extended until 31 March 2020.
It is understood that you do not need to do anything to get this extension but you will be subject to the same immigration conditions as during your last visa. Please note that you will not receive a new biometric card but the new expiry date of 31 March 2020 will be added to the UKVI systems. If written confirmation of the new expiry date is required the Home Office can be contacted directly — the IAS can assist with this process.
If you are a non-Chinese, non-EEA national in the UK who is normally resident in China the extension to 31 March is not automatic and the Home Office will need to be contacted directly. The IAS can also assist with this process.
There are also some situations (Tier 2 ICT to Tier 2 General) where the Home Office is allowing Chinese nationals to switch their visa status in-country rather than enforcing an out country application. We can provide more information on whether you are eligible for this procedure.
We are aware that at the moment things are very uncertain and stressful. The extension of 31 March 2020 may not be sufficient for individuals that are particularly vulnerable (such as those that are pregnant, elderly or ill, for example) and do not want to leave to the UK due to the risk involved in contracting Coronavirus. In these situations, an application on exceptional grounds may be required, please get in touch with IAS to see if we can assist in such an application.
Call the IAS on 0333 414 9244 to find out how we can help if you are affected by/at risk of being affected by Coronavirus.