Covid-19 – Immigration Law Update

Vina Madhavji considers recent developments for those who cannot leave the UK due to Covid-19 and the Immigration Health Surcharge

Today’s announcement on visa extensions

The Home Office has today announced that those individuals who cannot leave the UK due to travel restrictions or are self-isolating due to Covid-19 and whose visa expires or has expired between 24th January 2020 and 31st July 2020, are able to request and extension of their visa until 31st July 2020.

A request for the extension must be made to the Home Office and the details on how to do this can be found here.

Those individuals whose visas have already been extended until 31st May 2020 will have their visa’s automatically extended until 31st July 2020.

Those individuals who wish to switch to a long term visa (and their leave expires within the period 24th January 2020 and 31st July 2020) can apply to switch to a long term visa from the UK if they meet the requirements for that visa. This includes applications that would ordinarily be required to be made from outside the UK; It is important to note that such applications must be submitted by 31st July 2020 to be accepted from the UK.

Immigration Health Surcharge and calls for change

The government, in a U-turn, announced yesterday that it intends to make all health and care workers exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge. Details are to be released in the forthcoming days and we will keep you updated.

Other front-line workers such as Teachers and Transport professionals are still required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge and were not mentioned in the announcement yesterday.

Front line worker such as teachers, transport professionals, and support staff like cleaners and porters also fall outside the list of professions that will benefit from an automatic one year extension of their visa. In contrast health care professionals whose visa’s are set to expire by 1st October 2020 will receive an automatic extension of their visas.

The Home Affairs Select Committee has today written to the Home Secretary to show parity in the treatment of all front-line workers providing vital services during this time of Corona-virus. The letter to the Home Secretary can be found here.

14-day Quarantine Announced Today

The Home Secretary has announced a mandatory 14 day quarantine period for those entering the UK.

These new measures will be in force from 8th June 2020. Exemptions are to be announced on those who will not be required to self-isolate  and the exceptions will include medical officials.

Border Force will carry out spot checks to ensure people self-isolate and there will be provision for fines of £1000 for non-compliance. We will keep you updated as further details are announced.

If you need advice on any immigration issue, contact Vina on 01254 31 12 82, email enquiries@watsonramsbottom.com, talk to us via live chat or alternatively complete our online enquiry form and one of our experts will contact you

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