How Has Covid-19 Impacted the UK Immigration System?

By Anam Hassan

Visa Extensions

With travel restrictions coming into force so suddenly as the Covid-19 outbreak emerged, many residing in the UK were unable to leave before their visas expired. As such, the government decided to extend visas, providing a concession enabling those in the UK with expiring visas to have them extended to 31 May, and then further to 31 July.

However, as travel restrictions continue to ease, these extensions are being curtailed. Officials have stated: “Now travel restrictions are lifting globally, you will no longer be able to extend your visa automatically on this basis, and you are expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK where it is possible to do so or apply to regularise your stay in the UK”.

automatically on this basis, and you are expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK where ed whereby people with visas extended to 31 July have been given until 31 August to leave.

Spouse Visas

Covid-19 has predictably had a major impact on spouse visas, as many people’s income has significantly dropped due to the economic situation within the UK. Seeing as there is a strict financial requirement for spouse visas to go through, it is understandable that this is a worrying time for many who may have recently fallen short of this requirement.

Some guidance has now been given: “If you have experienced a loss of income due to coronavirus, we will consider employment income for the period immediately before the loss of income due to coronavirus, provided the requirement was met for at least 6 months up to March 2020”.

There are many groups of people who may be confused and need guidance, such as those applying for spouse visas, students or sponsors. However, as restrictions continue to ease, further guidance is being sent out to individuals to whom it may apply.


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