Guidance for migrants who are unable to return to China due to Coronavirus

In view of the extreme results of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Home Office has recently issued new guidance on immigration provisions for individuals in the UK who are unable to return to China.

On 17th February 2020, the Home Office published instructions for Chinese nationals currently in the UK, who have been compliant with the conditions of their visa prior to the coronavirus outburst, will be subject to an automatic extension of their leave until 31st March 2020. This will only apply if the leave has an expiry date between 24th January 2020 and 30th March 2020.

No action is required by the individuals in subject and No Biometric Residence Permit cards will be renewed. The status of the visas will be automatically updated on the UK Visas and Immigration’s systems.

Non-Chinese and non-EEA nationals in the UK, who are resident in China, will also be able to obtain an extension of their leave if they are able to demonstrate that they are usually resident in China; however, those individuals are required to contact the coronavirus immigration helpline on 0800 678 1767, which is available Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM

Chinese nationals in the UK on a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa who want to switch to a Tier 2 General visa can now (exceptionally) apply to switch from within the UK. This is only applicable if the current visa has an expiry date between 24th January 2020 and 30th March 2020. Relevant fees will still apply and requirements of a Tier 2 General visa will still need to be met, with the exception that application should be made from China.

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