Coronavirus and Home Office guidance for Visa holders
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The Home Office has recently released a series of measures to protect and safeguard the health of those living in the UK.
The recent visa concessions implemented by the Home Office are mainly targeted at those who are in the UK on an expiring permit, or are unable to leave the country because of travel restrictions.
If you are currently in the UK and you need help with any immigration issues, you can receive professional and immediate help from one of our immigration lawyers. Call us on 0333 305 9375 to discuss your case or to arrange a phone or Skype meeting with one of our immigration specialists.
I’m a Chinese national living in the UK, and my visa has recently expired or is about to expire. Do I need to leave the UK?
If you live in the UK, and have been compliant with the conditions of your visa prior to the virus outbreak, your visa will be automatically extended to 31st March 2020 if your permit’s expiry date is between 24th January 2020 and 30th March 2020.
If you entered the UK as a long-term standard visitor visa holder and you have reached the maximum stay of 180 days between 24th January 2020 and 30th March 2020, you will get an automatic extension as well.
You do not need to do anything to get your visa extension, and you will remain subject to the same immigration conditions attached to your immigration status.
I am a licensed Tier 2 holder, and I work in the UK. Can my sponsor withdraw their sponsorship if I am unable to attend my workplace?
International workers may be unable to go to their offices and workplaces due to travel restrictions caused by coronavirus, or due to illness.
Sponsors do not need to withdraw sponsorship if there are exceptional circumstances where an employee is absent from work without pay for four weeks or more.
Tier 2 ICT visa holders who wish to switch to a Tier 2 Visa would typically need to return to China before they apply. However, due to these exceptional circumstances, applicants can submit their forms from within the UK if their visa has an expiration date between 24th January 2020 to 30th March 2020.
I am an international student in the UK, and I hold a Tier 4 Visa. I am unable to attend my classes. Is this going to affect my immigration status?
Some pupils who hold a Tier 4 Visa may be prevented from attending their studies due to illness or to serve a period of quarantine.
Your sponsor does not need to report your absences related to Coronavirus, provided that they have been authorised.
The Home Office will evaluate each case, especially if the length of absence means that a potential repeat of studies becomes necessary.
I am an international visitor in the UK. Will I be charged for my NHS treatment, if I get the Coronavirus?
The novel coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV has been added to the list of diseases for which no charge is to be made for NHS treatment.
This will apply regardless of the patient’s immigration status, including short term visitors and other migrants without lawful status.
There are separate regulations for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
I am a British national in China. Can I seek assistance or information from a UK Visa application centre?
The Visa Application Centre (VAC) is currently closed, and it is not possible to apply for a British passport from China. If you need to travel to the UK urgently, you can request an emergency travel document.
If your British passport has already been released, you can collect it from the British Embassy in Beijing, or the Consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou.
In addition, The Home Office has set up a dedicated Coronavirus Immigration Helpline.
Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm) – Calls are free of charge.
Email: [email protected]
I need the help of an immigration specialist in the UK. How can the IAS help me?
The Immigration Advice Service is one of the leading immigration law firms in the United Kingdom.
The IAS offer world class immigration law services to a wide range of clients throughout the country. Over the years, we have developed a reputation for providing a service of the very highest order.
Our experienced and highly qualified immigration lawyers and specialists can provide help with any immigration matter, from Spouse Visa applications to complex asylum cases.
We are proud to offer the services of some of the most highly skilled immigration lawyers in the country. Through entrusting the Immigration Advice Service with your case, you will maximise your chances of receiving the outcome you are looking for.
Our specialist packages include: the Advice Package; Application Package; Fast-Track Application Package and the Appeal Package.
Call us now on 0333 305 9375 for an immediate discussion with one of our immigration law specialists.
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