The Home Office has announced that those with visas which expire before 31 July 2020 must now begin taking steps to either leave the UK or apply for an alternative route to stay in the country. We have outlined each of the positions below.
I intend to leave the UK, but I cannot do so before 31 July
Many individuals currently in the country may not have time to leave before 31 July.
The Home Office is therefore giving a month’s grace period to accommodate arrangements to depart the UK. This means those who have visas that expire before 31 July 2020 can remain in the country until 31 August 2020. Any ongoing rights to work, study and to rent accommodation will be protected up to and including 31 August.
I intend to leave the UK, but I cannot do so before 31 August. Can I extend my temporary stay for a little longer?
Those who intend to leave the country but are not able to so before 31 August must request permission for an extended temporary stay. If granted, that permission would simply allow the individual to stay in the UK without being penalised for overstaying. It would not amount to any new visa route.
Details of this process will be announced by the Home Office in due course. However, applicants should be prepared to provide reasons or evidence for not being able to leave the UK before 31 August, together with a confirmed flight ticket dated after 31 August or a confirmation of a positive coronavirus test result.
Is there anything I should do before 31 August?
A visa holder whose leave expires before 31 July must report their intention to stay in the UK until 31 August 2020 if they have not done so already. If a report has been made already, then there is no need to issue a new report.
What happens if I want to stay in the UK for a longer period beyond 31 August 2020?
The Home Office guidance currently permits those with visas that expire in August to make applications to remain in the UK long term. Unfortunately, the information is not clear, and we are awaiting further clarity. The process will require an application, and the requirements for that visa route must be met at the point of applying.
Please do contact us if you intend to stay in the UK for a longer period beyond August or if you have any queries about temporarily extending your time in the country.
Let us know what you need, and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.