Foreign & Commonwealth

Information for families during the coronavirus outbreak


01   Immigration concerns due to COVID-19 - UPDATED 21 AUGUST

The Home Office has issued new 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 or contact the F&C team on if you are unsure about what you can apply for.


Please click here for the latest information about biometric appointments. The booking system is currently only open to existing registered customers and is being opened in date order. Unfortunately, if you are a new customer you will not yet be able to see or book available appointments on the website. You should already have been contacted to make an appointment if you made an application prior to 31 July 2020. If you have not received an email about booking an appointment it is likely that you will not be required to attend an appointment and instead will be contacted about reusing your fingerprints from a previous application (see below).

If you have given your fingerprints before

If UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) can reuse the fingerprints you’ve already given, you’ll be emailed with instructions on how to send them an image of your face and your supporting documents.

Families in the UK on visit visas who wish to remain here permanently
  • If your leave expires before 31 August 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.

  • If your leave expires after 1 September 2020

You can still submit an application form from within the UK but you will need to show your application is urgent, for example if you need to start a new job or course of study. Otherwise you will be expected to return home to make the application in the usual way.

Visitors who are intending to return home

If you are intending to return home, you should make arrangements to do this before 31 August 2020. You will not be penalised if you became an overstayer between 24 Jan -31 August. You do not need to contact the Home Office if you are intending to return home before 31 August. If you intend to return home but are unable to do so by the 31 August you will need to contact the Coronavirus Immigation Team (CIT) to request ‘exceptional indemnity.’ The CIT will provide you with further detail on what evidence you will need to provide and how to submit this.

Potential Recruits

The Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) has been provided with a list of names of all potential recruits within the recruiting pipeline in the UK. This includes those who have still not been to selection, completed selection or been given a basic training start date.

Those personnel whose names are on the list will now be granted automatic exceptional indemnity until 31 Oct 2020. You should be sent a letter to confirm this.

You are not required to phone the CIT however, if you have not received a letter to confirm that you have been granted exceptional indemnity you should contact your candidate support manager (CSM) as soon as possible.

The indemnity is not a grant of leave but will act as a short- term protection against any adverse action in respect of the expiry of leave. It does not provide additional rights such as access to NHS treatment and does not allow the individual to seek employment or claim benefits.

  • Anyone who fails selection and cannot make arrangements to return home because flights are not yet available etc, must also contact CIT and explain the position.

If you experience any problems please contact us on

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. The visa will now be issued for 90 days. 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. We will raise these individual cases with our contacts.

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