UK Visa Blog

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Apparently, millions of people apply for UK visa and immigration application every year. However, due to lack of information and understanding about the application procedure, quite a few are unable to make a successful application. Therefore, the focus of the UK Visa Blog is to provide detailed guidance and insight for making a successful application. Moreover, where possible, the blog also tries to provide updates on the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on UK visa and immigration.

Nevertheless, if you intend to seek professional advice then may contact immigration specialist solicitors London. For study abroad in UK, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand etc. you can fill the online form to start the admission process.

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    For country-specific details of Entry Clearance Applications, please refer to Egypt, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE and the USA.


    Since covid-19 has quite adversely impacted the visa and immigration application process from both inside and out the UK. Therefore, for general guidance, this section of the UK Visa Blog provides an update on the impact of Covid-19. Evidently, on 11 March 2020, WHO declared that COVID-19 outbreak is a global pandemic. Accordingly, restrictions on travelling to the UK started from March, 12 2020. Indeed, on March 17, 2020, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised against all non-essential overseas travel. Moreover, the FCO has also advised all British travellers to return on 23 March 2020 before the lockdown. Therefore, COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the UK immigration system, both in terms of restricting migrant movements to and from the UK and the impact on operational capacity.


      Apparently, after the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a sharp decline in the number of passengers arriving to the United Kingdom. For instance, the number of passengers arriving by air have fallen from 7.1m in Jan 2020 to 3.8m in March 2020. Thereafter, in April 2020, only 112,300 passengers arrived by air. Consequently, the passenger arriving to the UK by air in April 2020 are 99% lower than that in April 2019.

      Moreover, in the first five weak of UK lockdown from March 23 to April 30, 2020, 58% of passengers arriving by are British nationals. Therefore, the remaining 42% of passengers arriving by air were foreign nationals residents in the UK, dependants of UK residents, and other non-British nationals. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic impact on global travel started prior to March 2020. However, by the end of March, the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted all routes to the UK to some extent, with the reduction in air travel most marked. Accordingly, the proportion of passengers arriving by air accounted fell from 87% in March 2020 to 46% in April 2020.


      Additionally, during the period, the number of arrivals by sea and rail was also 97% and 98% lower than in April 2019, respectively. Please note, apart from passengers, the persons arriving by sea and rail also include freight workers, such as lorry drivers.


      Indeed, after the breakout of COVID-19 pandemic, the number of UK entry clearance visa applications have sharply fallen across the board. Perhaps, mainly due to closure of the UK visa application centres by the end of March. Accordingly, since then, only very few applications or decisions have been made. Nevertheless, some case working has continued to take place. Evidently, the total number of visa applications began to fall in March 2020, with around 129,000 applications, less than half the number in March 2019 (281,000). However, falls in applications from Chinese nationals began at the start of 2020 following the COVID-19 outbreak in China. In January and February 2020, Chinese nationals accounted for 8% of all visa applications, down from 18% over the same period in 2019. All other nationalities saw significant falls from March 2020, with only around 250 applications recorded in April 2020.


      The number of decisions on visa applications also reduced in March 2020, when there were 145,000 decisions, 42% fewer than in March 2019 (248,000). However, in April 2020, only less than 100 decisions made on UK visa applications due Covid-19 pandemic. The entry clearance casework IT system requires a caseworker to be physically in the office to conclude an application, and in April there was a reduced physical presence in the office. In fact, even the printing of a vignette was not possible because applicants passports were in closed visa application centres. Therefore, in such instances, the applicants were also get back their passports. Nevertheless, where possible, the UKVI was only able to consider these applications up to the point of a decision.


      Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the beginning of restrictions in the UK, the number of extensions granted has fallen. In comparison to Jan-Mar 2019, the number of extensions during Jan-Mar 2020 only slightly fell from 63,000 to 60,000. However, during April 2020, the Home Office granted 77% fewer extensions mainly due to moving the operation from physical presence (in the office) to delivery through remote working.


      In addition to existing policies of extensions, on Feb 17, 2020, the Home Office announced a separate policy for migrant not able to return home due to COVID-19. Moreover, the government further extended the Covid-19 UK visa extension policy on 24 March 2020. Accordingly, by the end of April, the government nearly made 65,000 COVID-19 related extension grants. Perhaps, mainly to Chinese nationals who were unable to travel home at the end of their current visa.


      Indeed, on the March 31, 2020, the Home Office announced a policy to extend the NHS frontline workers visas. Moreover, on 29 April 2020, the government announced to extend the visa of frontline health and care workers.


      Since March 30, 2019, EU and EEA nationals residents in the UK and their non-EEA family members can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). Indeed, due to covid-19 pandemic some of the support services and application routes for the EUSS have been temporarily changed. However, applicants continue to apply using any laptop or mobile device including the EU Exit ID Document check app. Moreover, the Settlement Resolution Centres have remain operational and continued to provide support by email. Accordingly, in April 2020, the government received 67,300 EUSS applications, which were 46% less than that during March 2020. During April 2020, the government decided 73,000 EUSS applications, which are 51% lower than in March 2020. Perhaps, the applications under EUSS are showing a downward trend mainly due to the UK leaving the EU at the end of Jan 2020. Nevertheless, by the end of April 2020, more than 3.5m applications have been made under the EUSS.


      Perhaps, there had been a general upward trend in the number of asylum applications since mid 2018. However, since the start of covid-19 pandemic, there has been a marked decrease in the asylum applications and initial decisions. Nevertheless, the Home Office has continued to accept asylum applications throughout the pandemic. In fact, during the four weeks prior to the UK lockdown, the Home Office received 2,500 asylum related application. However, in the first four weeks of the UK lockdown, the Home Office received less than 800 asylum applications. Moreover, the Home Office made 300 initial decisions made on asylum applications in the first four weeks of lockdown. Please note, the Home Office stopped interviews with asylum applicants after the UK lockdown..


      In fact, due to covid-19 related restrictions, it is not possible for the Home Office to undertake any resettlement activity. Accordingly, since March 12, 2020, the Home Office is not undertaking any resettlement of the refugees. Moreover, the British Government has cancelled all the planned refugee resettlement due to the covid-19 pandemic.


      Since the start of the covid-19 pandemic the number of people in the detention estate has considerably fallen. At the start of May 2020, there were only 313 people detained in the detention estate. However, there were 1,278 and 555 people in immigration detention at the end of Dec 2019 and Mar 2020, respectively. Perhaps, the fall in the number in detention is due to an initial increase in numbers leaving detention immediately following the outbreak and the fall in numbers entering detention.