What to do about my UK visa amidst Coronavirus?
Most likely your travel plans have been put on hold or changed due to the current pandemic gripping the world. For many teachers, your UK visa may have started and you haven’t been able to travel, or your visa is due to start soon. I am sure you have concerns about this and are wondering what your options are. You might be thinking, is it possible to postpone my visa or can I get a refund?
Currently, you have a couple of options.
Option One- Update your Vignette
The first option is to apply for a new vignette sticker. You will notice that if you were successful in gaining a visa, you would have received a sticker inside your passport. On the sticker, it will include a date from which you have 30 days to enter the UK. By applying for a transfer of conditions/vignette transfer you can select a new date, giving you a new 30 day window. This can be done free of charge up until the end of 2020. To make this request, contact the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre. You’ll need to send an email which includes your name, nationality, date of birth and your GWF reference number. Add ‘Replacement 30 Day Visa’ in the subject line. Please note the visa will still commence on the original date so by going down this route you will lose some time on your visa. To apply for this you will need to complete another biometric appointment. At present, many visa centres are closed so it actually isn’t possible to gain a new appointment. If you make a request for a Vignette Transfer you will be contacted once the centers reopen to arrange the new vignette. Because no one is sure when they will reopen or when it will be safe to travel again, we feel option two is the most sensible.
Option Two- Cancel and Reapply
The second option is to cancel your visa and when it is safe to travel again, reapply. With the uncertainty surrounding the next few months, you might be best to cancel your visa for now. No one is sure when travel restrictions will be lifted so even if you were able to apply for a vignette transfer it would be very difficult to choose a new date and at the moment you cannot get an appointment. Also, by cancelling your visa and reapplying again when safe to do so, you will get the full 2 years of time on your visa. You will need to log back into where you originally applied for the visa and cancel/withdraw it from there. Unfortunately, you will lose the amount you paid for the visa, however, you should receive a refund of the immigration health surcharge. Please be aware you will only receive a refund if you have not yet entered the country. Currently, there has been no update from the UK government in terms of a refund of visa fees. This may come at a later date, however, at the moment you would still lose the amount you paid for the visa.
Make sure that you should always seek the most up to date information from the UK government. Also, if needed you are able to contact UK Visas and Immigration here
We are always happy to answer any questions and help you navigate your plans, especially at this uncertain time. Contact us.