The Home Office have provided further guidance for individuals whose leave was due to expire between 1 September 2020 and 31 October 2020. If the individual wishes to depart the UK but has been unable to do so due to COVID-19 (e.g. no flights available, positive COVID-19 test result) they can request additional time to stay in the UK, called exceptional assurance.
Evidence of the inability to depart prior to expiry of leave must be submitted with the request for exceptional assurance.
Exceptional assurance could also be requested by an individual who arrived in the UK with entry clearance as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner whose wedding or civil ceremony was delayed due to COVID-19 such that the ceremony date is now after their expiry of leave.
Exceptional assurance would extend the individual’s rights under their latest grant of leave in the UK, including the right to work if applicable. However, the Home Office have advised that exceptional assurance is not a grant of leave to remain. It acts as short term protection against action that would usually occur when an individual overstays their leave.
If you require any advice or assistance in making a request for exceptional assurance please contact a member of our experienced Immigration Team.