Fehmina Farani explores how Covid-19 has effected immigration in the UK.
New Guidance from the Home Office
The Home Office released guidance on the 24th March 2020 on the status of migrants currently stuck in limbo because of Covid-19. The approach taken seems both fair and flexible. Migrants unable to return to their country of origin due to factors beyond their control have automatically had their visas extended to the end of May 2020.
Further the Home Office has released many migrants detained. There are calls to do more and release all those that do not pose a risk.
Any migrants that are currently working for the NHS and visas are expiring by October 2020 have had them automatically extended by a year.
The Home Office announced that they are prioritising resolving urgent applications, those from the vulnerable and those from NHS workers.
Applications and Visa Centres
Applications can still be submitted to the Home Office. Those with visas expiring soon should submit their applications immediately. Please get in touch with us.
The Home Office has shut all biometric processing sites in an attempt to protect staff from Covid-19 outbreak. Therefore, any migrants currently in the process of switching jobs are left unable to start their new roles.
Although some of the visa centres remain open outside the UK, we believe that like the majority they are likely to close. There is a hotline for calls 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or you can email the Home Office here. They are currently extremely busy so expect delays.
Do you have financial difficulties?
The migrants who are facing financial hardships can rely on fee exemption applications.
You need to evidence lack of financial means, which could be difficult in the current climate. However, the Home Office may exercise discretion in regards to your application without.
Are you switching or applying for long term visa?
EU, EEA Nationals should apply for settled or pre-settled status immediately. This is a straight forward application that our experts can assist you to complete.
The Home Office is keen to cater for the wellbeing and safety of all migrants. They are attempting to assist those that want to stay in the UK long term by offering temporary provisions to applications. They state:
‘To help those who want to apply for visas to stay in the UK long-term, the Home Office is also temporarily expanding the in-country switching provisions.’
Get in touch
Feel free to fill in the form below: