NEW COVID-19 ADVICE for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents
If you’re in the UK
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. You are allowed to access Visa and Immigration services as these are considered an essential public service. You must follow current COVID-19 rules for where you live, in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you intend to leave the UK to return to a country or territory but have not been able to do so and you have a visa, leave or ‘exceptional assurance’ that expires before 30 September 2022 you may request additional time to stay, known as ‘exceptional assurance’.
Exceptional cases could include where you may be unable to return to a country or territory you are resident in, as that nation has closed their borders or where quarantine facilities are temporarily over-subscribed.
Please submit your request for an ‘exceptional assurance’ by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details:
● full name
● date of birth
● Home Office, GWF or any other reference number
● type of visa
● expiry date of visa
● reason for the request
● evidence showing reason you can’t leave
The subject header of your email should read “Request for an assurance”.
In your email you should attach evidence to show why you cannot leave the UK. For example, evidence of your inability to book quarantine accommodation in your country of residence.
During the time in which your request for ‘exceptional assurance’ is pending you will continue on the conditions as per your current or most recently expired visa.
If you are granted ‘exceptional assurance’ it will act as a short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences after your leave has expired. If conditions allowed you to work, study or rent accommodation you may continue to do so during the period of your ‘exceptional assurance’. ‘Exceptional assurance’ does not grant you leave. It is a means to protect those who are unable to leave the UK due to COVID-19 restrictions and not to facilitate travel, other than to return home. If you’ve already been given assurance but your circumstances have changed or you’re unable to leave the UK by the assurance date previously given, you must reapply using the process above. You will need to clearly state that you’re making a subsequent application. You’ll be asked to provide new supporting evidence.
If you intend to stay in the UK
In order to remain in the UK, you will need to apply for the relevant permission to stay. Where eligible, you’ll be able to submit a permission to stay application form from within the UK. You can make an application for permission to stay in the UK if you hold permission in a route that would normally allow you to do so. You’ll need to meet the requirements of the route you’re applying for and pay the UK application fee. You will not be able to apply for a route for which there is no provision in the Immigration Rules for making an in-country application, such as Youth Mobility Scheme, or Adult Dependant Relative. The terms of your current permission 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, depending on the terms of your current permission. You are also able to apply for permission to stay in the UK if you have been issued with an ‘exceptional assurance’. You must submit your application before the expiry of your ‘exceptional assurance’.
If you have overstayed your leave
If your visa or leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 August 2020 there will be no future adverse immigration consequences if you didn’t make an application to regularise your stay during this period. However, if you have not applied to regularise your stay or submitted a request for an exceptional assurance you must make arrangements to leave the UK.
If you’re outside the UK
If you’re planning to travel to the UK, you’ll need to make sure you comply with all COVID-19 travel restrictions. Please check the travel advice issued by your carrier and check what you need to do before entering the UK. If you need to travel urgently to the UK for compassionate reasons, you’ll still need to apply for a visa in the usual way, including submitting biometrics at your chosen VAC. You should clearly explain the compelling or compassionate reasons in your application form and must alert the VAC staff during biometric submission. You’ll be contacted by UKVI once your application has been received. If you do not hear from UKVI or your request is exceptionally urgent, you can also contact UK Visas and Immigration for help. Please note that this is a chargeable service for overseas customers.
Visa Application Centres (VACs)
Most UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) have resumed services where local restrictions allow. Priority and super priority services are only available in some locations. If available, you’ll be able to purchase these services when booking your appointment.
For more information, and for updates to the status of VACs, including opening times in your country, check with:
● TLS contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
● VFS global for all other countries
*If you are interested and would like to apply, then contact Ansel Immigration Services
using one of the following:
Phone No: +44 7741112323