The UK government has announced that people whose visas for the UK expired after 24 January 2020 will be able to apply for an extension if they have had to remain in the UK due to travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or because they have been self isolating.
Home secretary Priti Patel revealed that visas will be extended to 31 May in these circumstances, with the extension set to be reviewed regularly.
The Home Office is also establishing a dedicated COVID-19 visa team to help process enquiries from those who have been forced to remain in the UK after their visa expired.
Ms Patel commented: “By extending people’s visas, we are giving people peace of mind and also ensuring that those in vital services can continue their work.”
The Home Office added that those who are granted extensions to their visas because of the COVID-19 outbreak will be expected to return to their home countries as soon as possible once travel restrictions are lifted.
Due to the guidance relating to self isolation and social distancing, the government also revealed that it is waiving several requirements on visa sponsors. This includes allowing non-EU nationals who are in the UK under work or study routes to carry out their work or study from home.
Of course, the situation with what is now a global pandemic is evolving, so if you need UK visa advice, please contact one of our experts.
On 24 March 2020, the UK entered a period of enforced lockdown, where people are not allowed to leave their homes apart from under certain circumstances, such as to go to the grocery store or pharmacy, or to attend work if they are deemed a key worker.