Email from UKVI:
From: V & C Stakeholder Engagement
Sent: 29 July 2020 16:59
To: Nicole Francis
Subject: Coronavirus (Covid-19) Weekly Update – 29 July 2020
Good afternoon Nicole,
We hope this email finds you in good health.
We are writing to update you on the latest advice for those who have been in the UK and who have benefitted from the automatic visa extensions in response to travel disruption because of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
Since the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the government has implemented a number of concessions to assist visa holders in the UK who have been impacted by global travel and health restrictions. This has included offering extensions of visas for those who leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 and relaxing the rules on switching in the UK.
This pragmatic approach has ensured that nobody is penalised for reasons beyond their control, however as global travel restrictions have started to lift, it is right that this generous, but temporary concession, be brought to a close.
We recognise that people will need time to make arrangements to leave the UK and are taking a number of steps to continue to offer support for those who need it beyond 31 July.
We will allow individuals a further month’s grace period, until the end of August 2020, to leave the UK, seek further leave, or apply for an indemnity to allow them to leave on a later date.
During this grace period we will keep in place the relaxation of the switching rules to enable those who wish to stay in the UK to submit an application to enable them to do so. Additionally, during the grace period the conditions of stay in the UK will be the same as the conditions of leave. So, if an individual’s conditions allowed them to work, study or rent accommodation, they may continue to do so during August 2020 ahead of their departure.
If an individual decides to remain long-term, and has not already done so, then they should apply for the necessary leave to remain in the UK.
We recognise that during this period individual’s may have overstayed their leave due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, for individual’s whose visa or leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 there will be no future adverse immigration consequences solely on the basis of any periods of overstaying leave that took place between 24 January 2020 and 31 August 2020. We will formalise this specific commitment within the Immigration Rules.
We recognise that there will be some who, due to exceptional circumstances, will still be unable to return home before the 31 August 2020 and anyone who fits this exception should contact the CIT helpline. A compassionate and pragmatic approach will be taken to requests for an indemnity to allow someone to leave the UK on a later date.
We hope that this update is useful for you and your members, clients and stakeholders. The full guidance can be seen on gov.uk and if you have any further questions about these changes you can contact us.
Stakeholder Engagement Team
UK Visas & Immigration