The government has announced visa extensions and other measures to ease immigration requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Points:

  • Leave has been extended to May 31 for those whose leave expires between Jan 24 and May 31, and who are unable to return to their home country because of COVID-19 travel restrictions or quarantine.
  • The Home Office is temporarily expanding in-country switching provisions until May 31 for those wishing to apply for a visa to stay in the U.K. long term, e.g., from Tier 4 (Student) to Tier 2 (General Worker), while remaining in the U.K.
  • Visa sponsors may allow non-EU nationals currently in the U.K. for study or work to study or work from home.
  • Many U.K. Visa Application Centres (VAC) abroad remain closed or are offering limited services. Appointments for applicants at a VAC that is now closed will be canceled. Affected applicants in Europe, the Middle East and Africa can contact TLS contact, and all other applicants abroad can contact VFS global for more information.
  • British nationals abroad who require a passport, and whose local VAC is closed, can apply for an emergency travel document should they need to travel urgently.

Additional information: The Home Office will continue to review the situation and may extend the current date accordingly. UKVI has set up a COVID-19 immigration team to assist with the visa-extension process, and those whose visa has expired can contact the team via email for help with their extension. Deloitte can also support with this process. For more information and advice regarding immigration and the COVID-19 virus, visit the website.

Analysis & Comments: The visa extension policy is good news for employers and their foreign national employees, as it should lessen compliance concerns amid travel restrictions and quarantine measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Foreign nationals who avail themselves of the visa extension policy, however, are reminded that they must return to their home country as soon as possible once travel restrictions are lifted. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

Rest of World Source: Deloitte. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more. Deloitte Legal means the legal practices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms or their affiliates that provide legal services. For legal, regulatory and other reasons, not all member firms provide legal services. This includes Deloitte Tax LLP in the United States which does not provide legal and/or immigration advice or services. This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication. © 2020. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.