Coronavirus UK visa extension scheme | How to apply

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The Grapes, Limehouse, London currently closed due to coronavirus

Sanwar Ali, workpermit.com

Sanwar Ali comment:

If you are unable to travel due to coronavirus or because you are self isolating you can apply to remain at least until 31 May 2020.  There is a simple online UK visa application form that needs to be completed. 

In addition, many people such as Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa workers who are usually unable to apply for a Tier 2 visa from within the UK can now apply from within the UK.  This is as long as your visa expires by 31 May 2020.  There is no need to apply for a Tier 2 visa from your home Country.  Please note that if you wish to apply for a long term visa in the UK it is better to do this than to apply for a short UK visa extension to 31 May 2020.  Further details in recent news reports.

On 26 March 2020, Workpermit.com reported that the Home Office would grant UK visa extensions to all foreign nationals stranded in Britain due to coronavirus. Previously this was limited to Chinese nationals.  If your UK visa has already expired or is set to expire between 24 January and 31 May 2020 you should apply using the online form.  If you became an overstayer due to coronavirus you will not be penalised on future UK visa applications.

To obtain an extension, you have to apply by using the coronavirus immigration team Home Office online form. You must fulfil certain criteria to be eligible for the scheme.

What to do if you wish to obtain a long term UK visa such as Tier 2 visa

If you wish to stay long term in the UK perhaps on a Tier 2 visa you can apply within the UK, even if you cannot usually apply from within the UK (currently only if your visa expires by 31 Many 2020). You can apply using the correct online application form relevant to the visa you wish to apply for.  Please note that as service points are closed you cannot complete your biometric appointment at the current time.  Therefore there will be delays in processing your visa application.  Your current visa status will continue while your visa application is being processed.

Applying for the coronavirus UK visa extension scheme until 31 May 2020

If you are unable to leave the country because you wish to self-isolate or because of travel restrictions related to coronavirus, you can apply for a visa extension using the government’s smart web portal. Once you have completed the application process, you will be notified of your eligibility for an extension of leave that should be valid until 31 May, 2020.

To apply for the coronavirus UK visa extension scheme, you will need to follow these instructions:

  • Complete the form using the government’s smart web portal. The form must be completed in English and filled out with as much information as possible. If you’re unable to complete a section of the form or it’s not applicable to you – for example you entered the UK without needing a visa, in the relevant box you should state ‘not known’ or not applicable.
  • Take a screen shot of the completed form on your smartphone, tablet or laptop for your records, or in case you need to refer to it for any reason in the future.

What happens next under coronavirus UK visa extension scheme?

Provided that you have specified the correct email address on your completed coronavirus visa extension application, you will receive an email asking you to confirm your email address. Once you have verified your email address, you will be notified of the outcome of your application by the coronavirus immigration team within five working days.

UK immigration enforcement and overstayers

Following the setup of the coronavirus immigration team and the visa extension scheme, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “These measures have been put in place to reassure foreign nationals that their immigration status in the UK is safe, while allowing those working in vital services to continue doing their work.”

It’s understood that applicants for the UK visa extension scheme will not be subject to immigration enforcement even if they previously had an expired visa when they applied for the coronavirus extension, and future UK immigration applications will not be affected.

Many people benefit from expanded UK visa in-Country switching

The expanded in-country UK visa switching provisions will benefit large numbers of visa applicants. This includes many people who would not usually be able to switch from within the UK to say apply for a  Tier 2 general work visa.  People who could benefit from this include spouses of main Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa holders, and, as already mentioned, Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa holders, who would not usually be able to apply from within the UK for a Tier 2 General visa. 

Workpermit.com can help with Tier 2 Visa Sponsor Licence and Tier 2 Visa

If you need help with a Tier 2 visa, or a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, including help with complying with your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence obligations, workpermit.com can help.

For more information and advice on Tier 2 Sponsor Licences, UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at london@workpermit.com