COVID 19 Update: Temporary concessions - | Hudson McKenzie

COVID 19 Update: Temporary concessions

On 16th September 2020, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) renewed its policy guidance for individuals who are either in the process of applying for a visa or have already done so.

VAC closures

For those who are currently applying for their visa but their local Visa Application Centre (VAC) remains shut, there is an interim measure where they can apply online and select a different VAC worldwide that is open to submit their application and biometrics.

Individuals must select the country where they will submit the required information and documentation. This measure will be subject to review on 30th November 2020.

However, if individuals have already applied online but would like to submit their application at a different VAC from the one they originally selected, they must start an entirely new application. In this application, they must select the VAC where they would now like to submit their application and biometrics.

A fee will be payable for the new application. Once this has been paid, individuals can request for a refund for their original application.

Overstayers in the UK

Individuals have been previously advised to request for extra time to stay in the UK, known as ‘exceptional assurance’, if the following points collectively applies to them:

  • They hold visas that are due to expire between 1st September and 31st October 2020; and
  • They intend to leave the UK but have been unable to do so because of reasons associated with the pandemic

Those who have been granted ‘exceptional assurance’ will be shielded from the adverse consequences and penalties incurred from remaining in the UK after their leave has expired. This also means that they, as well as applicants awaiting a decision, will not be considered as an ‘overstayer’ nor be subject to any disservice for future immigration applications.

 If their expired visa permitted them to work, study or rent accommodation in the UK, they are still permitted to do so during their ‘exceptional assurance’ period. It must be remembered that their ‘exceptional assurance’ period does not grant them additional leave.

Should you require any further information or if you would like legal assistance with your visa application, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at or by telephone +44(0)20 3318 5794.