The current Covid-19 pandemic is causing complications for many people but especially for those who are currently in the UK on a short-term visa.
Visas have been automatically extended to 31 July 2020 to allow visitors time to get home during this difficult situation. Those who wish to remain, however, would normally need to apply for a new visa from outside the UK. With so many restrictions on travel this is proving problematic.
In light of the situation, the Home Office is allowing eligible applicants who have been in the UK as a visitor for six months or less to switch to a ‘family visa’ without leaving the UK.
A family visa allows you to live with a family member and remain in the UK for more than six months. You are eligible to apply if you plan to live with a:
You can learn more on coronavirus visa extension and switch measures at UK Government Covid-19 advice for UK Visa applications and temporary UK residents or visit the UK Government website here to learn more about the Family Visa.
Generally your family member is considered your sponsor and they must be a British citizen or have settled status in the UK.
You can apply for a family permit if your family member is living and working in the UK but is from the EU, EEA or Switzerland. If your parent or partner is in the UK with refugee status or humanitarian protection you may be able to apply for family reunion.
It is important to note that in order for you to apply, your family member cannot be in the UK temporarily, for example on a work or student visa. If this is the case, you can apply to stay with them as a dependant instead.
You can also request to switch to a family visa if you had permission to stay in the UK as a partner and your partner has since died or you are a victim of domestic abuse.
To apply you need to submit an application with supporting documentation before your current permission to stay in the UK expires. You will need to pay the relevant application fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge. Given most visas run out 31 July 2020 it is imperative to start your application as soon as possible.
For more help and advice on your immigration status and help with visa applications contact De Jure Chambers or click here to book an initial consultation
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