Coronavirus: UPDATED immigration guidance

Please see news of a FURTHER UPDATE to immigration guidance the Home Office published on 22 May, which supersedes this guidance published in March 2020

This news article has been retained for information.


On 24 March 2020 the Home Office updated their immigration guidance relating to coronavirus for those whose visas are expiring but are unable to leave the UK.

While originally this guidance applied only to Chinese nationals, and those normally resident in China, the updated guidance applies to anyone whose UK visa is due to expire, or has already expired, but who cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or they are self-isolating.

Those with 'leave' (i.e. a visa) which expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020 can contact the Home Office's 'Coronavirus Immigration Team' to request an extension of their visa until 31 May 2020, providing:

  • their full name (as it appears in their visa, including any middle names)
  • date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
  • nationality
  • reference number from their current/ previous visa
  • an explanation of why they cannot go back to their home country, for example if a border has closed.

The Home Office will let them know that their request has been received, and when their visa has been extended. The extension will be recorded in Home Office systems but they will not receive a new visa or other physical document. The contact details for the 'Coronavirus Immigration Team' are provided in the updated Home Office guidance.

The Home Office have also relaxed the rules on switching from one visa route into another from within the UK. Instead of requesting an extension of their visa until 31 May 2020, those who will be taking up other activities in the UK, and meet the relevant requirements, may be able to apply for a new visa under a different route without having to leave and apply from outside the UK.

Any queries about switching into a different visa route for activities within the collegiate University should be discussed with the Staff Immigration Team (SIT) as early as possible.

Those whose visas are coming close to expiry but are applying for extensions should follow the normal processes to apply to extend their visa before their current visa expires. SIT is continuing to receive and process Tier 2 and Tier 5 CoS extension applications and to advise and assist applicants through the visa extension process. They also provide as much assistance as possible to those applying to switch into, or extend under, different visa routes from within the UK.

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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