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) have reopened 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. There are a reduced number of appointments available, 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.

Families in the UK on visit visas who wish to remain here permanently
Up to 31 July 2020 applicants in the UK as a visitor or with leave of up to six months can switch into a family or private life route provided the requirements of the Immigration Rules are otherwise met. You should contact the F&C team on if you wish to make an application to remain.

English language test centres
Some English Testing Centres are resuming services. For more information on how you can book your English Language Test, contact either:

If you’re asked to take an English language test as part of your application, you can apply for an exemption if the test centre was closed or you couldn’t travel to it due to coronavirus when you applied.

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.

We are currently waiting for further information relating to potential extensions after 31 July for visitors. We are also waiting for further information from the MOD relating to potential recruits who have passed selection but who don’t have a basic training start date or whose visa will expire prior to their start date. Please contact your CSM.

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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