COVID-19 and UK Immigration: Top Questions by our Subscribers
The COVID-19 pandemic is triggering great difficulties for UK visa applicants as many UK visa application centres outside the UK are still temporarily closed and there are new limitations on international travellers coming to the UK.
The UK Home Office has issued limited advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents.
All of the online UK Home Office’s COVID-19 related immigration advice can be found on our channel, so don’t forget to check the link mentioned below.
We receive hundreds of questions relating to UK Visas and Immigration by our subscribers, in this video we will be answering few of the most frequently asked questions we have been receiving from our Subscribers. This is the first part of the video, we will be uploading more videos like this every week. So if you have any questions, ask us now by commenting below.
Please keep in mind that the answers on our Youtube Channel are for general information only and must not be used as an alternate for legal advice. You must get legal advice which is customized to your precise conditions.
Let’s begin the video with question sent by Ravi Kumar .
Is it possible to apply for a UK visa now especially during Covid-19 and lock down in the UK?
It totally depends. UK visa application centres in various countries have resumed their services but some remain out of service. If your local visa application centre is temporarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, you can apply in another country.
The good news is that UK has not closed its borders at all, although flights and trains are restricted – so you can travel to the UK if you at present have a valid UK visa or you do not need any visa.
Next question is sent by Martha Jones
I want to change my UK visa status. Generally I would have to apply outside the UK for this type of switch. Can I apply in the UK instead? Help me please!
Yes you can switch your visa, but only if your UK visa expires (or expired) after 31 August 2020. If you are in this condition the UK Home Office advice clearly mentions that it is possible to switch visa categories in the UK even if you would generally have to make this type of visa application outside the UK, for example, if you need to switch from a visit visa to a Tier 2 (General) visa. You will be required to demonstrate that the visa application is “urgent”, for example to start a new job or course of study in the UK. More guidance on the meaning of “urgent” is required by the UK Home Office.
Next Question was sent to us by Mamun Bhoyan
My UK visa will expire very soon and I am required to submit a UK Home Office application. Before I submit my Home Office application I have to pass an English language test and the Life in the UK test but I cannot get an appointment. What should I do?
The good news is that Test centres in the UK have started to reopen but it may not be possible to get an appointment before your visa expires.
Please note that If you are in this condition you should still submit your UK Home Office application before your visa expires. Do not book your UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) appointment until the English language or Life in the UK test centres have opened again and you have been able to pass the test. You may not have fulfilled the English language or Life in the UK obligation on the date you applied but if you meet it on the date of your UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) appointment it would be difficult for the UK Home Office to reject your visa application in the current situation.
If you are applying to stay in the UK on the foundation of family or private life and the test centre is temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic-or you cannot travel to it, you can ask for an exception from the English language requirement.
Ann Cooper asked
What if my husband was issued with a UK visa but cannot travel during its validity?
If your husband was issued with a 30 day visa to travel to UK for work, study or to join family, and this has now expired, your husband may receive a free of charge visa replacement. He can do this by getting in touch with either the Covid-19 help centre, or your local Visa Application Centre (on either the TLS or VFS website depending on his location) if they have now resumed services.
Muhammad Ali asked our team.
I am currently outside of the UK, unable to come back to the UK, and my leave expires before 30 September 2020. Am I able to extend my visa from outside of the UK using the Covid-19 extension form?
The UK Home Office website has approved that a short break in continuous residence will be ignored if you are not able to come back to the UK to extend your visa. Then again it is wise to make every attempt to come back to the UK as soon as possible and make an in-country application.
If you are presently outside of the UK, and your visa is expiring, please comment below to get in touch with our immigration experts to discuss your options.