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United Kingdom – COVID-19: Visa “Over-Stayers” Get Further Extension

UK – Visa “Over-Stayers” Get Further Extension

The U.K. Home Office continues to recognise that these are unprecedented times and has provided a further blanket extension to visa nationals whose visas have or are due to expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020. Such visas can be extended up until 31 July 2020, provided that the visa national is unable to leave the U.K. due to travel restrictions or is in self-isolation due to COVID-19.

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denise-osterwald

Solicitor, Senior Manager - Legal Services Immigration

KPMG in the UK

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Flash Alert 2020-274

The U.K. Home Office continues to recognise that these are unprecedented times and has provided a further blanket extension to visa nationals whose visas have or are due to expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 20201.  Such visas can be extended up until 31 July 2020, provided that the visa national is unable to leave the U.K. due to travel restrictions or is in self-isolation due to COVID-19.1  (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-182, 17 April 2020.) 

WHY THIS MATTERS

Employers and migrants will benefit from this blanket extension of visas up to 31 July 2020, removing worries about potential “overstaying” and breach of immigration restrictions.   

Individuals who obtain such an extension will not be considered as “over-stayers” during this period and this will not negatively impact their immigration status or future immigration applications.  If individuals are intending to apply to extend their stay in the U.K. before 31 July 2020, they should continue to do so.

More Details

Individuals should apply online for the blanket extension, unless they previously applied for and obtained an extension up until 31 May 2020.  Individuals who already obtained an extension up until 31 May 2020, will automatically have their visas extended to 31 July 2020. 

KPMG NOTE

The Home Office has issued and implemented temporary immigration measures to help migrants and businesses navigate through the COVID-19 crisis.  The full scale of the impact of these measures is yet to be seen, however we at KPMG LLP (U.K.) have already seen worldwide pauses and delays to all U.K. visa application processing and subsequent hiring of migrant staff. 

Note also, that the COVID-19 crisis has occurred at a time when the Home Office is preparing for a new immigration system, due to be implemented on 1 January 2021, as the U.K. formally ends its Brexit transition period.  We have recently issued a GMS Flash Alert on the government’s latest update in relation to this system (for prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-170, 14 April 2020).    

FOOTNOTE

1  For additional information, see the guidance published on 29 May 2020 on the government website.

Also see:  Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents.  

The KPMG Legal Services – Immigration Team has a wealth of experience in transactional, advisory, and compliance assurance services.  We will be able to advise your business in relation to practical considerations in light of the above changes, as well as what this means for your long-term recruitment and compliance strategies.

Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.  

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the United Kingdom.

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© 2021 KPMG LLP, a United Kingdom legal liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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