UK again extends visa of stranded Indians until August 31
The Boris Johnson government on Wednesday granted another visa extension until August 31 to Indian and other non-EU citizens currently in the UK who are unable to travel to their destinations in India and elsewhere due to travel bans in various countries.
The extension comes as some relief to Indians whose visas were about to expire on July 31. Regular commercial flights between India and the UK have not yet resumed. Many have returned on special repatriation flights but several others remain stranded.
Addressing those affected, the Home Office said: “To allow time to make the necessary arrangements to leave the UK, if you have a visa or leave that was due to expire between the 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020, you will be given an extra month’s grace period within the UK to 31 August 2020”.
“During the grace period the conditions of your stay in the UK will be the same as the conditions of your leave…You do not need to contact the Home Office to tell us you are able to leave the UK during the grace period up until the 31 August”.
“If you intend to leave the UK but are not able to do so by 31 August 2020, you may request additional time to stay, also known as ‘exceptional indemnity’, by contacting the coronavirus immigration team (CIT)”, it added.
Officials said a dedicated Covid-19 immigration team has been set up in the Home Office for the purpose, and asked anyone with expired or expiring visas to contact it, via email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk. They will then be issued with the extension, it added.
Home secretary Priti Patel said: “The UK continues to put the health and well-being of people first and nobody will be punished for circumstances outside of their control. By extending people’s visas, we are giving people peace of mind and also ensuring that those in vital services can continue their work”.
Those who contact the Home Office for the visa extensions will be expected to return to their home countries as soon as possible once flight and border restrictions are lifted. No action will be taken during this time for those who email the Home Office for the extension.