As coronavirus dominates all the attention on news channels and media houses, immigrnts in the UK may be shocked about the UK Government’s guidelines on those whose visas are expiring. The Home Office announced on 24 March that all visas which should expire between 24 January and 31 May can be extended to the end of May, everything else is unknown.
The uncertainty of the aftermath put people in a stressful situation and thus numerous immigration lawyers urged the ministers to prolong the extension until September. Additionally, because of the lockdown visa holders who are not qualified for this governmental extension are worried that they cannot extend their visa individually as the offices and English language test centres are closed.
People have been left with not much information regarding spouse visas, out-of-country application and English language tests and so their situation is currently unclear and stressful. The issue with the English language test centers being closed is that many immigrants need to take the test in order to be qualified to stay. If they risk to apply for a visa without the test score they risk to be refused which can cost around £2,000 to £3,000 or they can risk to be considered as overstayers and could lose their jobs and livelihood.
With the extension date coming to an end people are more and more worried about their future as the government has yet failed to inform them clearly about the actions that will be taken. Still their situation is uncertain, but immigration lawyers, activists and spokespersons have been actively urging the ministers to make a decision and extend the right to stay until September or at least provide an alternative which can protect the rights and lives of visa holders..