The Home Office updated its immigration guidance for people affected by Coronavirus on 27 March 2020.
It added information about the closure of all UKVCAS service points, for making an application in the UK, to its 24 March guidance.
This information covers everyone regardless of nationality or country of residence. See the full guidance for details of all measures, some of which we also include in Questions we can answer.
In particular, it provides the following special arrangements.
Free extension if your immigration permission expires between 24 January and 31 May 2020
If your immigration permission expired, or will expire, between 24 January and 31 May 2020 the Home Office will extend it for you up to 31 May 2020 without your having to make an immigration application or pay a fee. However, you must contact its Coronvirus Immigration Help Centre.
You can do this by email and we recommend that you email, rather than call, so that you have a record of the contact and save time waiting to speak to someone.
You must provide the information set out in the guidance:
- your full name including any middle names
- your date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
- your nationality
- your previous visa reference number
- why you can’t go back to your home country, for example if the border has closed
The Home Office will let you know when your request is received and when your visa has been extended.
Applications in the UK when this would not normally be possible
You can apply in the UK under the same or a different immigration category if you would normally have to leave the UK to make the new application. For example, if you are here with a short-term student visa you will be able to apply in the UK under Tier 4. You make this application online and pay the fee for an application made in the UK.
The deadline for applying under this provision is 31 May 2020.
Note that you will have to meet all other requirements of the immigration category you want to apply under, so this does not help you if, for example, you cannot meet the maintenance requirement. We have asked the Home Office for specific guidance on how far this applies to Tier 4 requirements and applications, and how it will work in practice. When we receive them, we will add answers to Applying in the UK when this is not usually possible.
If your immigration permission expires or expired between 24 January and 31 May 2020, and you cannot make use of this special provision or leave the UK, make sure you notify the Home Office's Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre as early as possible that you want a free extension under the provision we explain above.
Home Office Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre
The Home Office Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre number and email address are available for immigration enquiries related only to Coronavirus:
Telephone: 0800 678 1767, open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Calls are free of charge.
How we are trying to help and support you
UKVI (the UK Visas and Immigration department of the Home Office) will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates. UKCISA is in regular communication with the UK Home Office to represent the interests of international students during this outbreak. We will continue to update our information on a regular basis.
For support or clarification on any of the information given here, you can phone our student advice line on +4420 7788 9214 which is open at the following times:
- Monday to Friday (except for public holidays) from 1.00pm to 4.00pm (UK time)
- Additional extended hours until the end of May 2020:
Tuesday morning and Thursday morning from 10:00am to 12:00pm (UK time)
Before calling us, please check Questions we can answer and Questions we cannot answer yet.