Covid 19 Guidance for Chinese Nationals in the UK

26th March 2020 by

Expiry of Visa Whilst Still in the UK

The Home Office Covid 19 Guidance states that Chinese nationals in the UK, who have been compliant with the conditions of their visa/leave before the pandemic outbreak, but whose visas have expired between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020, will automatically have their visas extended until 31 March 2020. There is no need for a visa holder to do anything. Therefore, for example, if you are a Chinese student or visitor in the UK, you will be permitted to stay in the UK until 31 March 2020, according to this guidance.

You will be subject to the same immigration conditions as whatever visa you held that expired during that time frame, and will not receive a new visa or new BRP; it will simply be updated in the Home Office’s systems. If for work or other purposes you need evidence of this extension you should contact the Home Office.

Switching to a Tier 2 category in the UK

The Home Office gives specific advice for Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) Migrants who would ordinarily have had to have returned to China to make a Tier 2 (General) application if they wished to switch routes. The Home Office says exceptionally they will permit migrants to switch from within the UK if their Tier 2 (ICT) visa expires between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020. Applicants will, of course, still have to meet all other requirements and pay the relevant fees.

For information on this, or any other immigration matter, please contact our immigration specialists at