This information is for visa applicants in the UK and visa applicants outside of the UK who are affected by closure of Visa Application Centre (VAC) due to limitations linked with Covid-19 pandemic.

If visa applicant is already in the UK

As we have previously mentioned in our videos that If you had a visa that expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 you were able to submit a visa extension if you were not able to go back to the home country due to travel limitations or self-isolation linked to COVID-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, if you had a UK visa which expired between 24 January and 31 August 2020, including those migrants who got a visa extension between this time-period, you were able to take benefit of a grace period between 1 August 2020 to 31 August 2020. The circumstances of your leave to remain in the UK were the same as the conditions of your visa. If circumstances permitted you to work, study or rent housing you were able to carry on doing so during August 2020.

Now travel limitations are ending worldwide you will no longer be able to extend your UK visa on this base and you are anticipated to take all possible measures to depart from the UK where it is possible to do so or apply to legalise your stay in the UK.

If you plan to leave the UK but have not been able to do so and you possess a UK visa or leave to remain that expires between 1 September and 31 October 2020 you may apply for additional time to stay in the UK, also known as ‘exceptional assurance’, by getting in touch with the Covid-19 immigration team (CIT).

If you are allowed ‘exceptional assurance’ it will behave as a short-term protection against any unpleasant charge or penalties after your leave to remain has expired. If circumstances permitted you to work, study or rent housing you can carry on to do so during the period of your exceptional assurance. Please keep in mind that exceptional assurance does not grant you leave to remain in the UK.

After you have completed the exceptional assurance request form, you will be informed what you will be required to submit to demonstrate or prove that why you cannot depart from the UK.

For instance, if you cannot leave the UK due to the reason that you cannot find a flight before your leave to remain or visa expires, you will be required to provide a copy of a confirmed flight ticket. If you cannot depart from the UK due to the fact that you have Covid-19, you will be required to submit proof of your positive Covid-19 test result.

If you have in the past submitted the form to request exceptional assurance, you are not required to contact the UK Home Office again. The UK Home Office is taking into account all exceptional assurance requests and will contact to inform you of the conclusion. During this time-period, you will not be considered as an over-stayer or undergo any loss in any future immigration applications for this exceptional assurance period.

If you do compel extended or incapable to depart from the UK by the assurance date agreed, you must reapply closer to this date by resubmitting the online exceptional assurance form with supporting evidence (Link mentioned below).

Applying for a UK visa if your Visa Application Centre (VAC) is closed

If your Visa Application Centre (VAC) services is still terminated because of the Covid-19 restrictions, you can apply online and choose a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in any country globally, depending on that country’s entry requirements, to provide your visa application and biometrics.

You will be able to make any type of visa application, but at the beginning of your UK visa application you should choose the country where you will register your biometrics.

This provisional concession will be re-assessed by 30 November 2020.

If you have already applied online and you presently plan to submit your UK Visa application at a different Visa Application Centre (VAC) than the one you nominated, you will be required to make a new UK Visa application and choose the Visa Application Centre (VAC) where you plan to submit your visa application.

You will be required to pay the UK Visa Application fee for your new Visa application and then request a refund for your original visa application.


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