Covid 19 (Coronavirus) and Immigration: Applying in the UK for your Visa

UK Visas and Immigration
Read Time 4 Minutes, 20 Seconds

As the UK and the world face challenging months with Covid 19, the Home Office / UKVI has set up a Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) and released the following guidance. If you are in the UK on a visa and you were going to return home to apply for an extension or switch to another UK visa, then the Home Office / UKVI has released the following guidance.  New Guidance are being released each week as the situation changes.

You can apply before 31 May 2020 from within the UK.  However, you need to meet all the requirements for the visa you are going to apply for and pay the fees.  The application will need to be made online.

Until a decision is made your current visa conditions will remain in place.

Application and visa Appointment Centres

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS) and Service and Support Centres (SSCs), Currently these are closed.  No new appointments can be made or attended.  Those of you who have exiting appointments these were cancelled and new appointments have been re-arranged.  You will need to log in with your details on the Sopra website to check when the new appointment will be.  Many of the appointments have been re-arranged for May 2020.  But please do check as this is a changing situation on a daily / weekly basis.

The following applies to different categories of individuals: Tier 1 Entrepreneurs, NHS staff and working restrictions.  I have also included the link for you to access the guidance directly.

If you are on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and your business has been disrupted 

You no longer need to employ at least 2 people for 12 consecutive months each. The 12 month period you are required to employ someone for can be made up of multiple employees across different months.

Time when your employees were furloughed will not count towards the 12 month period.

If have not been able to employ staff for 12 months in total by the time your visa expires, you will be allowed to temporarily extend your stay to give you time to meet the requirement

If you’re a doctor, nurse or paramedic working for the NHS

Your visa will be automatically extended by one year if it is due to expire before 1 October 2020. Family members with a visa due to expire before 1 October 2020 will also have their visa extended.

The extension is free and you will not have to pay the immigration health surcharge.

You do not need to apply. We will contact NHS employers to identify staff eligible for this extension.

We will tell you and your employer if you have received an automatic extension.

Changes to the current restrictions on the number of hours you can work or volunteer

There is no longer a limit on the number of hours you can work or volunteer each week if you work for the NHS as a doctor, nurse of paramedic and you are a:

  • tier 4 student
  • tier 2 worker and your NHS job is a second job
  • visiting academic researcher
  • holder of a short-term visa and are permitted to volunteer

If you are a pre-registration nurse in the UK

The deadline for you to sit the Occupational Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) has been extended to 31 December 2020.

Stay safe

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