Coronavirus update on UK Visas and Immigration March 2021

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have continued to update its Covid-19 concessions for migrants who may have had visa issues during the pandemic. In the latest guidance, the UKVI has updated the position for Applicants who are already in the UK and those who are stranded outside the UK. The UKVI has also provided an update on the endorsement requirement for a Global Talent, Start-up, or Innovator visa. Furthermore, NHS and healthcare workers can renew their visas for free as long as they hold a valid visa that expires before 31 March 2021.

If you are already in the UK on a valid visa

If you are already in the UK you are expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK. If you have a valid visa that expires between 1 March 2021 and 31 March 2021, you can request additional time to stay if you are not able to leave. This is called ‘exceptional assurance’. You will be required to make a formal request (by completing the online form) and provide evidence as to why you need more time to stay in the UK.

During the time in which your request for ‘exceptional assurance’ is pending you will continue on the conditions as per your current or most recently expired visa. Applicants who are granted ‘exceptional assurance’ will be granted short-term protection. Your current conditions will continue so if you are allowed to work on your current visa this will continue. However, it should not be mistaken for leave to remain. Where an Applicants leave has expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 August 2020 an application to regularise status or an exceptional assurance must be submitted to avoid future adverse immigration consequences. 

If you are applying for a Global Talent visa, Start-up, or Innovator visa

Where Applicants are applying for a Global Talent visa and the endorsement has expired because they have not been able to submit their UKVI application. The endorsement will be accepted as long as it was granted on or after 24 January 2020 and you apply before 1 January 2021. If you are applying for a Start-up or Innovator visa and your endorsement has expired your application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  

What to do if your 90-day visa vignette has expired

If you have applied for a work, study, or family visa from outside the UK and your 90-day visa vignette has expired, you will need to apply for a replacement by completing the online form. The cost of replacing an expired 90-day vignette is £154 and you will need to make an appointment to resubmit your biometric information. It is advised that you only apply for a replacement once you know that you are able to travel to avoid the same problem again. 

If you are stuck outside the UK and your visa has expired

There are many people who are currently stranded outside the UK due to the Coronavirus pandemic and are unable to return to the UK. Applicants who left the UK with valid leave before 17 March 2020 and were not able to apply for further leave or indefinite leave to remain can apply to return to the UK. Once you have applied, your information will be sent to a case working team who will decide whether you are eligible under the Covid Visa Concession Scheme. This concession will be available until 31 March 2021.

If you are working for the NHS during the pandemic

Applicants, who are working for the NHS or in healthcare with a visa that expires between 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021, may apply for a free visa extension for themselves and their dependants. There will be Immigration Health Surcharge payable. Applicants working at different NHS sites rather than their usual place of work because of coronavirus can work at any NHS hospital during the coronavirus outbreak if the sponsor can maintain their sponsorship duties. Sponsors will not need to notify UKVI of the change in an Applicants place of work.

Biometric appointments at Visa Applications Centres

A large number of visa application centres have reopened for existing customers. Applicants can check which UKVCAS centres are open and book an appointment if they have not already done so. If there are no available appointments UKVCAS will email Applicants once further a further allocation has been issued. Applicants who have already booked appointments but have been cancelled will be contacted via email with new times and dates.

In some circumstances, Applicants may not be required to provide a fresh set of biometric information because the Home Office may wish to reuse the fingerprints already on the system.

Providing solutions to immigration issues not addressed by the Home Office

Our specialist immigration team can provide assistance and solutions to complex immigration issues that may not have considered by the Home Office when publishing its Coronavirus guidance. There are always new issues that can arise out of unique circumstances. Our immigration team has ample experience in assisting with new issues and can liaise with the Home Office on your behalf.

Can I still see an immigration lawyer given the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Yes. We are a technologically advanced law firm and are well equipped for the current situation and have the resources and infrastructure to support you with any UK immigration issue.

We are actively monitoring and responding to the COVID-19 situation and will continue to follow advice and guidance issued by the UK GovernmentPublic Health England, and the NHS.

The well-being of our team and our clients is our priority. We are following the advice to maintain social distancing; therefore we will hold all meetings with clients via video conferencing or via our telephone conferencing facilities for the foreseeable future. Please contact our Immigration Team to arrange a consultation with us so we can assess your case in more detail and give you advice specific to your individual circumstances.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London for Immigration advice during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative in order to advise on a UK Visa and Immigration application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications, which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful applications using our Immigration Solicitors in London during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department.

We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice, and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to speak with one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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