Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents
This is advice for visa customers and applicants in the UK, visa customers outside of the UK and British nationals overseas who need to apply for a passport affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus.
Published 24 March 2020
Last updated 30 July 2020
If you’re in the UK and your leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020
If you had a visa that expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 you were able to request an extension if you were not able to return home because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Now travel restrictions are lifting globally you will no longer be able to extend your visa automatically on this basis and you are expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK where it is possible to do so or apply to regularise your stay in the UK.
If you decide to leave the UK
To allow time to make the necessary arrangements to leave the UK, if you have a visa or leave that was due to expire between the 24 January 2020 and 31 August 2020, you’ll be able to stay within the UK to 31 August 2020.
From 1 to 31 August 2020, the conditions of your stay in the UK will be the same as the conditions of your leave. So, if your conditions allowed you to work, study or rent accommodation you may continue to do so during August 2020 ahead of your departure.You do not need to contact the Home Office to tell us you are able to leave the UK during the grace period up until the 31 August.
If you intend to leave the UK but are not able to do so by 31 August 2020, you may request additional time to stay, also known as ‘exceptional indemnity’, by contacting the coronavirus immigration team (CIT).
The indemnity does not grant you leave but will act as short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences after your leave has expired.
The Coronavirus Immigration Team will provide you with further advice on what you need to do to request an indemnity. This will include providing details of the reason why you are unable to leave the UK and supporting evidence, for example, a confirmed flight ticket with a date after 31 August or confirmation of a positive coronavirus test result.
If you intend to stay in the UK
If you decide to stay in the UK, you should apply for the necessary leave to remain in the UK. You’ll also be able to submit an application form from within the UK where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country.
You’ll need to meet the requirements of the route you’re applying for and pay the UK application fee. This includes those whose leave expires before 31 August 2020.