Coronavirus (COVID-19) immigration resources
Coronavirus (COVID-19) immigration resources

The following Immigration guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) immigration resources
  • Initial 17 February 2020 guidance
  • Guidance updates from 24 March 2020: visa extensions (including NHS workers) and switching
  • Guidance from 24 March 2020: sponsored migrants
  • Many issues remain unclear
  • Other practical matters: 30–day visas, application centres, tests, Tribunals, right to work checks, support, EU Settlement Scheme
  • International arrivals
  • Home Office helpline
  • Coronavirus Act
  • Immigration implications: news and news analysis
  • more

This Practice Note is a compilation of links to useful information, news and news analysis in relation to the immigration implications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This Practice Note will be updated on an ongoing basis with relevant materials.

Initial 17 February 2020 guidance

The pandemic has become highly significant for immigration practitioners. The Home Office initially issued guidance on 17 February 2020, primarily in relation to Chinese nationals relating to matters such as:

  1. closures of certain Visa Application Centres (VACs) in China

  2. travel restrictions

  3. UK visas expiring while Chinese nationals are unable to return to China, and

  4. sponsor reporting duties (which applies beyond Chinese nationals)

See: LNB News 17/02/2020 60 and News Analysis: Coronavirus (COVID-19) UK immigration guidance—what you and your business need to know.

Guidance updates from 24 March 2020: visa extensions (including NHS workers) and switching

The guidance was not updated for more than a month, despite the significant spread of the virus beyond China, including in the UK. On 24 March 2020, updated guidance was issued which covered certain aspects such as travel restrictions, and the situations at VACs worldwide, and also announced:

  1. a ‘visa extension’ until 31 May 2020 (via a new notification procedure, which has been in the format of a short online form from 6 April 2020) for UK visa holders in the UK