Coronavirus: INITIAL immigration guidance

Please see news of UPDATED immigration guidance the Home Office published on 24 March, which supersedes this initial guidance published in February 2020

This news article has been retained for information.


The Home Office has published immigration guidance relating to the coronavirus

The Home Office understands that some visa holders may be uncertain whether they will be able to leave the UK before their visa expires, or may not be able to return to the UK as soon as planned due to travel restrictions because of coronavirus. The Home Office know that in many cases this will be outside the visa holder's control, and reassure that these issues should not negatively affect their visa.

The key points are:

  • Chinese nationals in the UK whose visa is about to expire/ has expired will automatically be granted a visa extension until 31 March 2020. No application or fee is required as the extension is granted and recorded automatically by the Home Office, and no new visa or BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) is issued.
  • Nationals of other countries who are in the UK but are normally resident in, but cannot return to, China should contact the coronavirus immigration helpline to discuss if they can be granted a similar extension.
  • The Home Office will keep this guidance under review and it is likely that the 31 March 2020 date for extensions may be extended further.
  • Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 visa holders who are in China and are unable to return as soon planned should keep their department/ faculty/ college updated. The department/ faculty/ college will discuss with the Staff Immigration Team (SIT), or UAS Student Immigration, as required but nothing should need to be reported to the Home Office as this delay is outside their control.
  • Visa applicants who are in China, or other countries affected, and whose visa application and/or travel to the UK is delayed should keep their department/ faculty/ college updated but any delayed arrival should not affect their visa.

Any issues or queries about visa or travel issues for UK visa holders and applicants should be discussed with the Staff Immigration Team (SIT).

Students should contact the UAS Student Immigration for more information. 

The latest information from the University on coronavirus is provided on the Advice and updates page.

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