The Home Office has introduced some immigration concessions related to the Coronavirus COVID-19.
There are a number of concerns that might arise if you hold a UK visa or leave to remain:
- Inability to return to your home country because of travel bans
- Imminent expiry of a visa or leave to remain
- Health concerns about returning to a country with high infection levels
The most generous concession introduced is that all Chinese nationals who are in the UK with visas that expired between 24 January and 30 March 2020 will have their visas automatically extended to 31 March 2020.
In addition, Chinese nationals who hold a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa will be able to switch to the Tier 2 General route without returning to China.
There are also concessions for Sponsors who might need to authorise absences from work or study for people who are sick or quarantined.
Some people need to contact the dedicated helpline for further advice, including:
- Non-Chinese nationals who are normally resident in China
- Chinese nationals with a visa issued under the British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS)
The published policy does not currently cover other countries where COVID-19 is a concern. However, the infection risk could still be a factor in an application for leave to remain on other grounds (for example, an application outside the Immigration Rules or on Human Rights grounds made by a person who is immunocompromised, or otherwise at special risk).
Information about the current Home Office policy is online here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-immigration-guidance-if-youre-unable-to-return-to-china-from-the-uk
The COVID-19 helpline is 0800 678 1767
If you have questions about how your immigration status might be affected by COVID-19 please do not hesitate to contact me on 07752722292 or firstname.lastname@example.org