Latest UK Immigration
Update - (Covid-19)

In response to the various immigration related issues arising from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Home Office has recently issued updated guidance and information which can be viewed here.

Smith Stone Walters wishes to highlight the following key points:

In-country applications 

  • Continue to apply: If any of your employees already have leave in the UK and plan to remain and apply to extend their leave when it expires, they must continue to do this.
  • Application and Service Centres in the UK: UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS) and Service and Support Centres (SSCs) are temporarily closed because of coronavirus (COVID-19). If an employee has already made an appointment to attend a UKVCAS or an SSC, they will be contacted and their appointment rescheduled.
  • Switching is possible: Individuals can apply from the UK to switch to a long-term UK visa until 31 May 2020. This includes applications where they would usually need to apply for a visa from their home country. Contact Smith Stone Walters for further advice in regards to this temporary concession.
  • Starting a new job ahead of a visa application being decided: In certain circumstances, where an individual has been assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), they will be eligible to commence employment whilst awaiting a decision on their application. Contact Smith Stone Walters for further guidance in regards to this temporary concession.

Out of country applications

  • All UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) are currently closed: For updates to the status of particular VACs, please continue to check TLS (Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East) or VFS global (for all other countries).
  • Global Talent, Start-up or Innovator visa: Individuals in possession of an expired endorsement from an endorsing body may still be eligible for a visa. Holders should still make their applications as planned. The Home Office will consider all applications on a case by case basis.

Smith Stone Walters will continue to provide further updates via our website. If you require specific immigration advice or assistance our team can be contacted here. Alternatively, the Home Office has set up a Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre which can be reached by calling: 0800 678 1767.

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