As the world is still battling the Coronavirus, the Home Office is continuing to update its guidance and advice for UK Visa Applicants and temporary residents in the UK which was initially published in March 2020. The guidance is for Applicants both in and outside the UK who are affected by the Covid-19 travel restrictions. Our immigration team in London continue to review the changes in UKVI’s Covid-19 advice and are happy to arrange a consultation with one of our solicitors in order for them to advise on how these measures may affect you.
What is the updated Covid-19 advice for UKVI Applicants in the UK?
The Home Office has always advised that migrants in the UK should always take reasonable steps to leave the UK by the expiry of their visa (especially on temporary visas such as the visit visa) or take steps to apply for further leave to remain in order to extend the visa. However, UKVI recognises that as the pandemic continues, certain travel restrictions which are in place at any given time may affect these plans. Recent updates to the guidance confirm that migrants who are currently in the UK with leave expiring by 30 June 2021 and who do not intend to remain in the UK but are unable to leave may submit a request for ‘exceptional assurance’ in order to have additional time in the UK before they are to leave. This can be done by migrants emailing a dedicated UKVI email and evidence will need to be provided as to why they cannot leave the UK before the expiry of their visa.
What is exceptional assurance?
Exceptional assurance temporarily extends a migrant’s status in the UK past the expiry of their recent visa if they can prove that they were unable to leave the UK due to Covid-19 implications. If granted ‘exceptional assurance’, then there will be a short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences after the expiry of the visa (i.e. detention or implications for future UKVI applications). If the previous visa conditions allowed that person to work, study or rent accommodation in the UK, then they may continue to enjoy these same activities during the period of exceptional assurance.
What is the updated Covid-19 advice for UKVI Applicants who wish to remain in the UK?
Migrants with leave to enter or remain who would like to continue to reside in the UK will have to make an application for further leave to remain. Applicants will need to ensure that they meet all of the requirements and rules of the route in which they are applying under and ensure the relevant fees are paid to make a valid application. Where eligible, Applicant’s may be able to submit an application from within the UK. Applicants will be protected by section 3c leave until a decision is made on their application.
Are visa application centres open as usual during Covid-19?
Visa application centres both outside (VFS Global and TLScontact) and within the UK are largely open to Applicants; however, Applicants are advised to check with their local centre as it depends on the Covid-19 restrictions in their country. Priority services are still largely suspended and again, Applicants should check with the centre in their home country.
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London for information on the UKVI’s Covid-19 advice
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 for information on the UKVI’s Covid-19 advice
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.