Coronavirus and visa extensions

Some people who were in the UK when the pandemic hit were unable to leave before the expiry of their visa because of travel restrictions. The government had been allowing people in this situation to easily extend their visas through apply for “exceptional assurance”.

On 11 January 2021, the Home Office also published a Covid Visa Concession Scheme. It is designed to help people who had permission to live in the UK but whose permission expired while they were stuck abroad due to coronavirus travel restrictions, leaving them unable to return. Provided they meet the eligibility criteria in the guidance, such people will be granted entry clearance valid for three months to allow them to travel back to the UK and apply properly to extend their stay. But the scheme is aimed at people who left the UK before 17 March 2020.

For people who left the UK after 17 March 2020 will only be considered for this concession in “exceptional circumstances”. These include “serious illness or death of a close relative overseas” and “travel for the purpose of receiving medical treatment”.

For people worried about breaking their period of continuous residence in the UK for the purposes of indefinite leave to remain, Appendix Continuous Residence now states that absences caused by “travel disruption due to… pandemic” will not count towards the 180-day maximum.

For people have remained outside the UK for over 2 years and due to coronavirus travel restrictions and their indefinite leave has lapsed.  January 2020. Please read our latest post

If you want to know more about how covid affect your UK visa, contact our team on +44(0)2072536888 or email

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