Last updated - 1st April 2020
At the moment, the UK guidance is changing almost daily. There is currently no travel ban to the UK, you can travel to the UK for essential travel only but you must ensure that you check your country's official government website for travel advice before you think of traveling to the UK.
If the UK does issue a travel ban of any sort, and this affects your visa, we are sure they will provide guidance on what to do about vignettes and current UK working visas - and we will find out about this when the authorities update their guidance.
If you choose not to travel before any travel ban is in place, you may need to apply for a vignette transfer so you can travel later in the year.
We recommend that you hold off on doing this for at least the next 30 days (30th April 2020).
Your UK working visa will not be taken off you by the UKVI if you fail to enter into the UK during your 30 day vignette/30 day entry clearance (you will find this sticker inside your current passport, showing the dates that you can arrive into the UK). This has been approved and it will NOT be cancelled on you. Your UK working visa will remain valid.
For anyone who has entered the UK recently on their vignette/30 day entry clearance - your visa has been activated, you can not cancel your visa, change the start date of your visa, or ask for a refund. If you can, please pick up your BRP card as soon as possible, even if you are considering travelling back to your home country. If you fail to pick up your BRP card you will need to apply for a vignette transfer. If you entered into the UK as a tourist before your vignette/30 day entry clearance started (between the decision date and the expiry date of the visa), you have activated your visa just by arriving and will only be able to apply for a vignette transfer. Your BRP Card may not be ready for collection, if you are considering leaving the UK you may want to read the gov.uk webpage regarding BRP collection. If you return home you may need to apply for a vignette transfer.
You might also want to speak to your insurance company as they may or may not be willing to cover the cost of a flight change due to COVID-19.
Below are the relevant links on the UK, New Zealand, Canadian, and Australian government websites you can review.
UK - Travel Advice
Australia - Travel Advice
Canada - Travel Advice
New Zealand - Travel Advice
UK - Coronavirus (COVID-19): Immigration Advice
UK - Number of coronavirus cases and risks in the UK
UK - Government response for Coronavirus
I have not entered the UK and my vignette sticker is valid or about to start its validity, what should I do?
There is currently no travel ban to the UK and no updated advice from the UKVI authorities advising of extensions. The decision you make must be for yourself, for your safety, your health and your family. If you decide not to travel to the UK during the validity of your vignette sticker (1st March 2020 to 30th April), we ask that you hold off from appling for a vignette transfer for the next 30 days. There may be an update issued from the UKVI with further guidance for those who have current vignettes. A Vignette Transfer is issued so that you can arrive in the UK at a later date. Please be aware that by transferring your arrival date into the UK your visa expiry date will stay the same. For example, for a YMS Youth Mobility Visa your vignette sticker inside your passport is valid from 1st April 2020 to 30th April 2020 (30 days for you to enter the UK) your visa expiry date is 1st April 2022 this will not change regardless of what future date you pick to arrive in the UK. We highly recommend that you check the below link to find out about any changes to current UK Working Visas and vignettes that are current or about to become active.
Should I apply to transfer my UK Entry Vignette to a later date?
This is definitely an option for you to consider. For more information, visit this post. We advise that you hold off on doing this for the next 30 days.
When can I apply for a vignette transfer?
You do not need to apply for a vignette transfer immediately, there is no due date when this can be done (unless your visa date has expired or is about to expire inside 3 months). If your vignette inside your passport is currently valid or has just expired you can apply for a vignette transfer inside three months of your new travel date. Weather that be next year or later this year, you can only apply for the new date change inside 3 months. For example, you now decide to travel on the 1st December 2020, you can only apply for the vignette transfer on or after 2nd September 2020.
Can I contact the UKVI about my vignette / 30 day entry clearance and/or my current visa?
Yes you can!
Coronavirus Immigration Helpline Telephone UK: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Calls are free of charge.
Due to Data Protection Regulations we can only speak to the visa holder or applicant about their specific query.
Restless World is here to help at this uncertain time. If your vignette sticker inside your passport has not started yet, please keep updated on your country’s travel advice and we highly recommend that you check the UK Governments Immigration Guidance for updates.