I have received a number of emails and enquiries from different people facing different situations and what to do. These next few blogs are the latest information from the UKVI as to concessions currently being offered. This was published on the 27 January 2021 at 4.49pm. I know many will find it strange that the time is also stated. This is because sometimes we will receive updates twice a day. But this is the latest one so far. We have previously blogged on the previous changes.
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.
Fiancé / Fiancée Visas
If you’re here with 6 months’ leave as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and your wedding or civil ceremony has been delayed due to coronavirus you may request additional time to stay, also known as ‘exceptional assurance’, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and providing evidence of when your wedding or civil partnership ceremony will take place.
Otherwise, you can apply to extend your stay for a further 6 months to allow the ceremony to take place.
Family Applications – Financial requirement
If you have experienced a loss of income due to coronavirus up to 31 May 2021, the Home Office / UKVI will consider employment income for the period immediately before the loss of income, provided the minimum income requirement was met for at least 6 months immediately before the date the income was lost.
If your salary has reduced because you are furloughed the Home Office / UKVI will take account of your income as though you are earning 100% of your salary.
If you are self-employed, a loss of annual income due to coronavirus between 1 March 2020 and 31 May 2021 will usually be disregarded, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications.
Be careful here if you are self – employed. I have highlighted their words “will usually”. This means you are best to calculate your earnings or your accountant and consider your income before rushing ahead to make the application. It may be that you can combine other income. In any case you are best to get some advice.
If you’re unable to provide specified documents
In some cases, the Home Office / UKVI will be able to decide your application without seeing certain specified documents if you cannot get them due to coronavirus. Otherwise, you may be asked to submit the specified documents after the date of application.
Family Applications – English language requirement
If you are asked to take an English language test as part of your application, you can apply for an exemption if the test centre was closed or you could not travel to it due to coronavirus when you applied. Of course, you should provide evidence of the steps taken and that the test centre was closed and for how long.
Where to Get Help!
If you have immigration queries related to coronavirus, please email the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre.
Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk. Your email must be in English.
You will usually get a reply within 5 working days. Do not send follow up emails – they may delay you getting a reply.
You can also call the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre. If you’ve emailed the help centre already, please do not contact them by phone.
Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Calls to this number are free of charge within the UK.