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. This include especially Fiancé Visa holders, who may not be able to get married to their partner before their current leave to remain in the UK expires.
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.
How does COVID-19 affect my Spouse Visa?
In response to the coronavirus emergency, the UK Government has relaxed specific visa rules.
On 24th March, the Home Office announced that anyone whose leave to remain in the UK had already expired after 24th January, will have their visa extended until 31st May.
However, the current Spouse Visa immigration rules are still firmly in place. In other words, applicants must still ensure they meet the requirements to be eligible and follow the Home Office guidelines to submit their application.
I hold a Fiancé visa which is due to expire soon, but I cannot leave the UK. What should I do?
If your Fiancé Visa is going to expire anytime soon, you can either marry your partner and apply for a Spouse Visa, or go back to your home country and request different immigration status.
Yet, due to the restrictions imposed on international travel during the COVID-19 emergency, it may not be possible for migrants to leave the UK. If this is your case, the Home Office may grant you the opportunity to extend your visa, or to submit a new application from within the UK.
However, there is no guarantee, and it is best to speak to a legal professional to discuss your personal circumstances.
My wedding in the UK has been cancelled. How does this affect my immigration status?
Under normal circumstances, couples must marry in the UK within six months. Otherwise, they will lose their leave to remain in the UK.
However, considering the coronavirus situation, several wedding and other ceremonies are not going to take place.
If your wedding has been cancelled, your Fiancé Visa will lose its validity. Nevertheless, the Government may consider the merits of your case and agree to extend your visa for another six months. However, you may need to submit a new application and pay the visa fee all over again.
What is the impact of Coronavirus on Visa Applications?
The Home Office is currently granting visa extensions on request to those who are in the UK on an expiring permit and are unable to leave because of travel restrictions. If your visa is due to expire between 24th January 2020 and 31st May 2020, your leave to remain will be extended to 31st May 2020. To get this extension, you must fill in an online form.
Besides, migrants are still allowed to apply to switch their existing visa from within the UK, provided that they submit their request until 31st May 2020. It must be noted that this concession is limited to those whose permission is due to expire before this date.
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