Adeeb Chowdhry discusses ‘exceptional assurance’.
Are you currently in the UK on a temporary visa and unable to return to your home country due to current COVID travel restrictions?
If you are in the UK on a temporary visa that expires prior to 30th September 2021 you can request additional time. You can submit this request for ‘exceptional assurance’ by emailing the Home Office.
To qualify you must have taken reasonable steps to return. This must be sent as evidence with your request. It might be that your home country is currently on the red or amber list. Further it could be your home country is on the green list, but its borders are closed. If you have booked a flight that is cancelled or there are no available flights, this should be submitted as evidence.
If granted, you are not issued with a new Visa but are allowed to stay under the same conditions. While you are awaiting a decision, you remain on your current conditions. Therefore, if you can work under your current Visa, you can continue to do so in the short-term extension period.
The main benefit of the ‘exceptional assurance’ scheme is that it prevents overstaying your Visa. By applying before you visa expires the home office can update their records. Therefore preventing any enforcement action being taken against you or it being held against you in future applications.
How to apply?
You need to submit the request by email with details of your current Visa and your personal information. The subject of the email must read ‘Request for an assurance’. Further, you should attach any relevant evidence required.