The Home Office has today announced that UKVI is preparing short-term guidance on the implications for immigration of the Coronavirus outbreak. The aim is to issue the guidance within the next week.
The Immigration Law Practitioners Association suggests that Chinese clients whose leave runs out on 31 January 2020 and whom cannot return to China because of the coronavirus do not need to take any action and should wait for the Home Office to publish its interim guidance. This will mostly affect undergraduate students who have not yet switched into another category or departed the UK.
It is expected that the interim guidance will cover the following scenarios:
1. Individuals in the UK whose leave is expiring but who cannot return to China due to the coronavirus outbreak.
2. Sponsors with employees or partners who are in China and who cannot travel to the UK.
3. Whether individuals from other countries where travel bans apply can exceptionally apply to the UK from those countries.
4. What to do for those either in the application cycle or waiting to apply for entry clearance (a visa) for the UK.
All Visa Application Centres in China are currently closed so it will not be possible to arrange biometric appointments for any applications which have recently been, or about to be, submitted. The Home Office is expected to give guidance on how such matters will be handled during the coronavirus outbreak.
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