Coronavirus and Travel Bans: what to do if your visit visa is due to expire

As lockdown measures continue around the world to curb the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), many visitors with expired or soon-to-expire visas are finding themselves stuck in the UK.  If you or your family’s visit visa is due to expire soon or they’re unable to travel due to border closures, we’ve shared the latest Home Office guidance below. We’ve also included contact details for the Home Office’s Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre.

This post is for visitors on a family visit visa. It is general advice and not intended to replace legal advice. If you have an immigration question, book your free 15 minute call to find out your options. 

My Visa expires in May 2020 but I can’t leave the country due to lockdown. What shall I do?

If your visa expires before 31 May 2020, you must contact the Home Office. You will be allowed to stay in the UK until 31 May 2020 if you can’t leave because of travel restrictions or self-isolation.

You must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) by emailing [email protected]To update their records, you should provide your full name, date of birth, nationality, previous reference number and a note to explain why you cannot return to you home country e.g. if you are self-isolating, health reasons, or if the border in your own country is closed.

What about visas that expire in June or July?

It’s not clear yet. The Home Office has said they are keeping their 31 May timeline under review in case a further extension is needed. If your visa is due to expire in June or July:

We applied for a family visit visa and haven’t received a decision yet. What can we do?

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), most of the UK’s visa applications centres are currently closed. All visa decision waiting times will be delayed until further notice.

We want to apply for my family member to visit the UK in September. What shall we do?

All UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) are closed. If you’d like to discuss your application or find out which documents you will need to provide when application centres reopen – contact our office to book your free 15 minute call on 01274 727373.

I need to speak to the Home Office – what can I do?

For any coronavirus / immigration related enquires, you can call the Home Office’s Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre. If you’ve emailed the help centre already, please do not contact them by phone. Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). This line is for coronavirus related questions only.

SKB Law is an award-winning law firm founded by Sarah Khan-Bashir MBE. We support clients with divorce, separation, children’s matters, finances, immigration and Wills.

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