As we find ourselves in uncharted territories with a pandemic that has affected everyone either in their daily lives or the way they are working, it is fair to say that there has been a big change in almost everything, with the world of Immigration being no different.
Immigration Solicitors have had to adapt to many changes and I am proud to say that we at Ison Harrison Solicitors have taken this in our stride and continue to be open to assist with Immigration matters during these testing times.
The Home Office have published a number of updates and the overriding principle for the Home Office is that no one will have a negative outcome through the Immigration system due to a circumstance that was beyond their control due to COVID-19.
Having said this, there has been much confusion with people I have spoken to with regard to automatic visa extensions and I would like to clarify the following:
- People that are in the UK on a visit visa and for those that would have left the UK but cannot due to the virus – on 24thMarch 2020 the Home Office Policy advised that the temporary visas were extended to 31st May 2020 and they have since further extended these visas until 31st July 2020. It is important to note that this is not an automatic extension and people in this situation would need to complete an online form to explain why they cannot leave.
- The above does not apply to people that are in the UK and are due to apply for an extension of their visa or qualify for indefinite leave to remain. There are currently no Home Office concessions for these applications and the applicant must apply before the expiry of their current visa in order to remain in the UK legally.
- The Home Office are also still accepting applications for Naturalisation as a British Citizen, or Registration of a British Citizen child.
It is a worrying time and can be very stressful for anyone that has to submit an application for further leave to remain. We would like you to know that we are here to help and open for business to assist you in your immigration matter. Please contact Reena Bangar if you would like to discuss any of the above.