Foreign & Commonwealth

Information for families during the coronavirus outbreak


01   Immigration concerns due to COVID-19 - UPDATED 27 MAY

The Home Office has issued advice for those who are UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents.

Families in the UK with Armed Forces (or other long-term) visas which are due to expire
It is very important that you still make your application to extend or apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) prior to your visa expiring. The application can be made online in the normal way. Refer to the F&C pages for information on how to apply. Some UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS) will reopen for existing customers on 1 June 2020. You can check which UKVCAS centres are open. If you’ve already made an appointment to attend a UKVCAS centre, you’ll be contacted and told what to do next. If you have not already made an appointment, you cannot currently book an appointment at a UKVCAS service point because of COVID-19. However, you must still create a UKVCAS account when you apply so you can be contacted when new appointments become available. You might be offered an appointment at another service point if the one nearest to you is closed. If you cannot or do not want to attend this appointment, you can ask to wait for an appointment at a closer service point. This will not affect your immigration status.

Can I still apply for ILR even if I have not been able to take the English language or Life in UK tests because the centres are all closed?
Yes, we have been advised by the Home Office that caseworkers will be writing to all applicants before making any decision, if the certificates haven’t been provided. You will be given time to take the tests once the centres are open again. Some English Testing Centres outside the UK are resuming services, you should monitor the updates on the IELTS website and Home Office COVID-19 page for further information.

Visitors and potential recruits with visas issued for 6 months or less
If your visa is due to expire prior to 31 July 2020, you should follow the guidance at this link to extend your visa for free until 31 July 2020. If you have previously applied to extend until 31 May 2020, there is no further action to take, your visa will be automatically extended to 31 July 2020.

Families outside the UK
If your family member has a 30 day visa to come to the UK which has now expired, you can request a replacement visa with revised validity dates free of charge until the end of this year. Follow the guidance at this link. However, you will still be unable to travel until the Visa Application Centres (VACs) reopen. Some VACs are resuming services, where local restrictions allow and existing customers will be contacted. You should monitor the website above for further information.

If your family member has a long-term visa which has expired whilst they have been out of the UK,  you should contact us. Although we are not able to offer any guidance at this time, we are in close contact with the entry clearance team at UKVI and will be able to provide an update as soon as we hear further.

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