Since we published our news item of 29 July 2020, the Home Office guidance page Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents has been updated again, on 30 July 2020.
Importantly, the guidance now provides a safety net for those with immigration permission expiring between 1 and 31 August, and not just up to 31 July. The heading still refers to 31 July but this seems to be an error.
The guidance now states that anyone with immigration permission expiring between 24 January 2020 and 31 August 2020 will be able to stay in the UK until 31 August 2020, and any conditions attached to the immigration permission will continue until this date. There is no requirement to request this permission from the Home Office, but the guidance instructs that people should now regularise their stay by either making an application before 31 August 2020 or otherwise by making arrangements to leave the UK.
Those who are intending to leave the UK, but who cannot do so before the 31 August 2020, can contact the coronavirus immigration team (CIT) to request ‘exceptional indemnity’. This is not immigration permission but is stated as acting as a “short-term protection”. However, as covered in our news item of 29 July 2020, we are not clear how people will receive details of their ‘exceptional indemnity’ and how this might affect future applications.
The guidance still states that applications can be made in the UK where these would otherwise need to be made outside of the UK. People wanting to make an application to stay in the UK must still meet the relevant requirements of the immigration route and make their application before 31 August 2020.
The Home Office’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tier 4 sponsors, migrants and short-term students guidance has not yet been updated. Given that some of the concessions in this guidance relate to immigration permission expiring on or before 31 July 2020, or to applications made on or before 31 July 2020, we await further details on how these relate to the new date of 31 August 2020.
UKCISA Chief Exective, Anne Marie Graham, said "We are very pleased that the Home Office has reacted quickly to our concerns for international students who cannot return home yet or who need to remain in the UK for their studies. We look forward to seeing more detailed support for them soon in the amended Tier 4 guidance".
For further information, see Coronavirus (Covid 19): information for international students.