Coronavirus and the immigration process in the UK (as of 29 July 2020)

If you are in the UK and your leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020

If you had a visa that expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 you were able to request an extension if you were not able to return home because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Now travel restrictions are lifting globally you will no longer be able to extend your visa automatically on this basis and you are expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK where it is possible to do so or apply to regularise your stay in the UK.

If you decide to leave the UK

To allow time to make the necessary arrangements to leave the UK, if you have a visa or leave that was due to expire between the 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020, you will be given an extra month’s grace period within the UK to 31 August 2020.

During the grace period the conditions of your stay in the UK will be the same as the conditions of your leave. So, if your conditions allowed you to work, study or rent accommodation you may continue to do so during August 2020 ahead of your departure.

You do not need to contact the Home Office to tell us you are able to leave the UK during the grace period up until the 31 August.

If you intend to leave the UK but are not able to do so by 31 August 2020, you may request additional time to stay, also known as ‘exceptional indemnity’, by contacting the coronavirus immigration team (CIT).

The indemnity does not grant you leave but will act as a short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences after your leave has expired.

The Coronavirus Immigration Team will provide you with further advice on what you need to do to request an indemnity. This will include providing details of the reason why you are unable to leave the UK and supporting evidence, for example, a confirmed flight ticket with a date after 31 August or confirmation of a positive coronavirus test result.

If you intend to stay in the UK

If you decide to stay in the UK, you should apply for the necessary leave to remain in the UK. You will also be able to submit an application form from within the UK where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country.

You will need to meet the requirements of the route you’re applying for and pay the UK application fee. This includes those whose leave has already been extended to 31 July 2020 and the grace period until 31 August 2020.

The terms of your leave will remain the same until your application is decided. If you are switching into work or study routes you may be able to commence work or study whilst your application is under consideration .

If you have overstayed your leave

If your visa or leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 there will be no future adverse immigration consequences if you didn’t make an application to regularise your stay during this period. However, you must now do so from 1 August.

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