- Luke receives answer to Written Parliamentary Question from Home Office
- Home Office advises Chinese Nationals whose visa expires between 24 January and 30 March 2020 that their visa will automatically extend to 31 March 2020
- For other circumstances, visa holders should consult the government website or call 0800 678 1767
On Friday 13 February 2020, Luke tabled a Written Parliamentary Question (WPQ) to the Secretary of State for the Home Department regarding concerns that Chinese nationals may face difficulty conforming to visa requirements if their visas were due to expire in the month of February or March. The exact wording of the WPQ is shown below:
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance she is providing for Chinese nationals whose visas expire imminently and whose home provinces are affected by Covid-19. (2022)
The Home Office provided the following response:
Kevin Foster (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Immigration):
“We are taking a proportionate approach to individuals who are unable to comply with their visas due to the coronavirus outbreak.
We have set up a dedicated helpline and are providing visa extensions for anyone whose immigration status has been affected. Full guidance has been published on the GOV.UK website and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-immigration-guidance-if-youre-unable-to-return-to-china-from-the-uk
No one will be unfairly penalised for events beyond their control.”
The answer was submitted on 24 Feb 2020 at 17:34.#
In summary, if you are a Chinese national in the UK and have been compliant with the conditions of your visa prior to the coronavirus outbreak, your visa will be automatically extended to 31 March 2020 if your visa has an expiry date between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020. You’ll also get an automatic extension if you’re in the UK on a long-term standard visitor visa that lasts 2, 5 or 10 years and you have reached the maximum stay of 180 days between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020. You will remain subject to the same immigration conditions attached to your visa during the extension period and your new expiry date (31 March 2020) will be added to UK Visas and Immigration’s systems.
If you fall outside of these dates, received your visa from the British Irish Visa Scheme or a Crown Dependency, or are a non-Chinese, non-EEA visa holder normally resident in China, you should contact the Coronovirus Immigration Helpline by calling 0800 678 1767.
If you have already applied to extend your visa you don’t need to do anything and if you are intending to apply to extend your stay in the UK before 31 March 2020 you should continue to do so.
If you have any questions or concerns you can contact Luke by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org