The Home Office has updated advice for UK visa customers and applicants affected by travel restrictions associated with COVID-19.
This latest update provides greater clarity for UK visa customers and applicants from Australia and New Zealand caught up in the following situations.
FOR PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE UK
If your 30-day visa to travel to the UK for work has expired, or is about to expire, you can request a replacement visa with revised validity dates free of charge until the end of this year.
To make a request, you must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre by emailing CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk, using the subject line: “REPLACEMENT 30 DAY VISA”.
You will need to provide your name, nationality, date of birth and GWF reference number. If you have already contacted the Home Office regarding this matter, also provide your contact email.
UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) are closed due to COVID-19. When VACs reopens, you will be contacted to arrange for a replacement visa to be endorsed in your passport.
You will not be penalised for being unable to collect your BRP while coronavirus measures are in place. This process will be in place until the end of 2020.
FOR PEOPLE IN THE UK
SHORT-TERM VISAS EXPIRING BETWEEN 24 JANUARY 2020 AND 31 MAY 2020
If your visa is expiring and you are not planning to stay in the UK in the long term but you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to COVID-19, your visa can be extended to 31 May 2020.
You must request an extension by updating your records with the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT).
APPLICATIONS FOR LONG-TERM VISAS
You can apply from the UK to switch to a long-term UK visa until 31 May 2020. This includes applications where:
- Leave has already been automatically extended to 31 March 2020
- You would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country
The terms of your leave will remain the same until your application is decided. You’ll still need to meet the requirements of the route you are applying for and pay the UK application fee.
You can apply online, however, UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS) and Service and Support Centres (SSCs) are temporarily closed because of COVID-19.
LONG-TERM VISA APPLICATIONS IN PROCESS
If you’ve applied for a Tier 2 or 5 visa and are waiting for a decision on your application, you can start work before your visa application has been decided if:
- You have been assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
- You submitted your application before your current visa expired and you show your sponsor evidence of this
- The job you start is the same as the one listed on your CoS
If your application is eventually rejected as invalid or refused, your sponsor will stop sponsoring you and you must stop working for them.
For the full details on this update, visit COVID-19: Advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents