THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
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The UK Government has confirmed that "Due to the operational impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), most of the UK’s visa applications centres are currently closed. All visa decision waiting times will be delayed until further notice." The confirmation means that those Americans who are in the process of applying for a visa are unlikely to hear back anytime soon, which could be of particular concern to those planning to move to the UK in the coming months to be with family members.
In the same update, the Government added that the two priority services providing quicker visa decision times "are suspended for applications made outside the UK".
Although the delays will cause concern to those planning to travel to the UK, the Home Office confirmed earlier this week that existing visa holders, whose visas expired after January 24, will be to extend their visa to stay in the UK to at least May 31. The extensions will be available to anyone whose visa expired after January 24 and who cannot leave the country because of travel restrictions or self-isolation. In the Home Office's explanation for what to do, they say that "A dedicated COVID-19 immigration team has been set up within UKVI to make the process as straightforward as possible. Anyone in this situation just needs to contact this team, via this email address CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk, to let them know their visa has expired and they will be issued with an extension."
For further details on developments relating to visas, you can go to www.gov.uk/entering-staying-uk
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