The UK has announced visa extensions until 31 May for all foreign nationals in the country. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in extraordinary travel restrictions being imposed around the world to curb the spread of the virus. The extension is meant to provide some much-needed relief to foreign nationals who are unable to return home due to these restrictions.
Individuals who are in the UK and whose visa expired after 24 January should email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk, and they will be issued an extension until 31 May. This timeline will be kept under review in case the further extension is needed. The UK is also temporarily expanding the in-country switching provisions. This will mean people can apply to switch routes, such as from Tier 4 (student) to Tier 2 (General Worker), whilst remaining in the UK.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The UK continues to put the health and wellbeing of people first and nobody will be punished for circumstances outside of their control. By extending people’s visas, we are giving people peace of mind and also ensuring that those in vital services can continue their work.”
Jan Thompson, Acting High Commissioner to India, said: “I am acutely aware of how distressing the current situation is for travellers unable to return home. This announcement will hopefully provide some reassurance to the many Indian nationals currently in the UK. Separately, in India, my staff and I are working around the clock to make sure that British nationals in India who need help are receiving support.”
Source: British High Commission in New Delhi