Due to the new lockdown announced on 31st October 2020 by the UK government, the Home Office has provided further COVID-19 updates. Barar & Associates has summarised the update below for you.
If you are in the UK
The first Home Office COVID-19 update is that the Home Office has extended the ‘exceptional assurance’ option. If your visa expires before the 1st December 2020 and you would like to leave the UK but you have not been able to do so, you can apply to request additional time to stay in the UK under ‘exceptional assurance’.
If your application is granted, you will gain a short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences after your visa has expired. This is not a new visa or an extension of your visa. However, you will be subject to the same conditions of stay. This means that if your visa allows you to work or study, you can continue to do so during the period of your ‘exceptional assurance’.
Furthermore, the Home Office is currently experiencing delays in terms of processing time. Thus, it is important to note that, while the Home Office is considering your application for ‘exceptional assurance’, you will not be considered as an overstayer and you should not suffer any detriment in any future UK immigration applications for this period.
However, it is primordial to apply for ‘exceptional assurance’ before your current visa expires. Otherwise, you will be considered as an overstayer if your visa expires after 31 August 2020 and you do not apply before your visa expires.
If you are applying on the basis of family or private life
The second Home Office COVID-19 concerns visas based on family or private life.
UK visas on the basis of family life include UK visas for spouses, partners, children or parents of a British citizen, a settled person (someone with Indefinite Leave to Remain), or a person with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK.
Moreover, UK visas based on private life cover individuals who have lived in the UK for at least 20 years or who would have very significant problems living in their country of origin.
If you are in the UK and you want to apply for a visa on the basis of family or private life, you may be able to switch to this visa, instead of leaving the UK and applying from your country of origin. This is the case if your application is urgent (family emergency cases) or you cannot apply from outside the UK due to COVID-19.
Additionally, the Home Office has confirmed that if your salary has decreased because you are furloughed or paid through the Job Support Scheme, the Home Office should take account of your income as if you were earning 100% of your salary. Importantly, the launch of the Job Support Scheme has been postponed as the furlough scheme has been extended until December 2020.
You can access more information on the furlough scheme via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-extended-and-further-economic-support-announced
If you would like more information or advice on your UK immigration matters, please contact our expert team of London immigration lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via https://bararassociates.com/.