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How To Extend Your Visa - Exceptional Assurance

Can your visa be extended due to coronavirus?

If you are a migrant in the UK with a leave or visa that expires before 30 September 2021 and intend to return to your home country but haven’t been able to do so due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you will be able to extend your visa by submitting a request for an exceptional assurance.

What is Exceptional Assurance?

Exceptional Assurance does not grant you leave to remain but acts as a short-term protection against any consequences that may on the other hand arise from overstaying your permission. If your visa allowed you to study, work and rent you will be able to continue to do so during the period of your exceptional assurance.

How do I know that I have been granted Exceptional Assurance?

If your request is successful you will receive an email from the Home Office confirming your exceptional assurance and the date your extension it’s going to terminate.

If you have already been granted exceptional assurance but your circumstances change and you are unable to leave the Uk by the date previously given, you will need to re-apply using the same process with new evidence and you must state that you are making a subsequent application.

NHS workers

Because of Coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic, NHS workers may be qualified for a 1-year visa extension for free.

If your visa is scheduled to expire after 30 September 2021 or you are changing employer you will not get the free extension, you will have to extend your visa in the normal way. Your dependents may also get a 1-year visa extension.

You are allowed to get the extension, if you have a visa that terminates between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 and you are working for the NHS or an independent health or care provider in an eligible profession.

Eligible Professions:

  • Biochemist

  • Biological Scientist

  • Dental Practitioner

  • Health Professional

  • Medical Practitioner

  • Medical Radiographer

  • Midwife

  • Nurse

  • Occupational Therapist

  • Ophthalmologist

  • Paramedic

  • Pharmacist

  • Physiotherapist

  • Podiatrist

  • Psychologist

  • Social Worker

  • Speech and Language Therapist

  • Therapy Professional

How to get an extension for your visa

Your employer will tell UK Visas and Immigration if you are qualified for the extension and then you can easily apply for it online.

In order to apply, you must provide:

  • A photo of yourself

  • A photo of your biometric residence permit

If you’re including a family member in your application you'll also need to provide

  • A photo of your family member

  • A photo of your family member’s BRP

If you or a family member does not have a BRP, a photo of the personal details page or biodata page of the passport can be used instead.

Get legal advice from the experts

MSD Solicitors are experts in immigration law and visa applications. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers can help answer any of your asylum questions. We also correspond with the relevant legal bodies and provide clarity on Home Office guidance, processes and eligibility criteria. Our dedicated team can help you by ensuring that all documents and supportive evidence are correctly organised. Get in touch today for a free consultation to discuss your case requirements.


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