How to obtain the 90 day replacement visa with the UKVI?

How to obtain the 90 day replacement visa with the UKVI?
Due to Coronavirus, which has caused such devastation around the world, you were unable to travel to the UK to start your UK Working Visa. You have an approved visa to work, study or join family in the UK and your vignette sticker (30 day entry clearance) inside your passport has expired or is about to expire. You are not sure about the procedure to obtain the '90 day replacement visa'!? Or will the date you pick be granted? Or will your visa expiry date be extended? We have made several attempts asking for clarification, but we have been unsuccessful................!!!!!
Be aware that there is no guarantee that UK Visas and Immigration will honor the dates you ask for. If you want to travel later in the year or early next year, hold onto your passports! The choice you make will be completely your own and on the understanding that there are currently no guarantees that you will receive the date you requested or whether your visa will be extended to a date when you would be able to travel. 
If you want to travel early next year, please follow option 2 and only hand in your passport the week starting 7th December 2020. The free 90 day replacement visa ends on the 31st December and you do not want to miss out on your opportunity to receive the free entry clearance and possible extension of your visa. So put if down in your calendar that the 7th December is the day you hand in your passport!!!
 

Read below for your options:   

Option 1

You have received an email from VISAINFO.SHEFO@fco.gov.uk letting you know that the UKVI are now in a position to re-issue you with a 90 day Entry Clearance vignette. You can either make an appointment to go back to the same Visa Application Centre (VAC) where you submitted your application or you can courier your passport to them. In both cases you need to write a covering letter which contains your GWF number, full name, email address, contact number and put in the date you want to arrive in the UK.
Also print the email from VISAINFO.SHEFO@fco.gov.uk which will show the VAC that the Coronavirus Immigration Helpdesk have contacted you. 
 
1) What to do if you courier your passport to a VAC:
You should courier your passport (securely, purchase a trackable service) to the VAC - see below links to find the address:
New Zealand VAC - the guidance is different if you applied through an enrolment location operated by Immigration New Zealand - make sure to read the guidance in this link!!

Please include your cover letter, a copy of the email from VISAINFO.SHEFO and a pre-paid self-addressed envelope, which is trackable and signature on delivery. (If you are posting your passport to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, you must add in a pre-paid self-addressed envelope). 

Please address your envelope to 'Duty Manager - UK Visa Application Centre' mark the envelope 'Replacement Request' and add your GWF number next to that. Please ensure the VAC address is correct.  

2) Arrange an appointment with the Visa Application Centre (VAC) to hand in your passport:

You will need to log into the VAC website, putting in your GWF number and your password. See above links for access and opening/closing times. Make sure to take in your letter and a copy of the email from VISAINFO.SHEFO. 

Option 2

You have not received an email from CIH (Coronavirus Immigration Helpdesk) yet or you did not send an email to the CIH requesting a 90 day replacement visa.
You can either make an appointment to go back to the same Visa Application Centre (VAC) where you submitted your application or you can courier your passport to them. In both cases you need to write a covering letter which contains your GWF number, full name, email address, contact number and put in the date you want to arrive in the UK.
 
1) What to do if you courier your passport to a VAC:
You should courier your passport (securely, purchase a trackable service) to the VAC - see below links to find the address:
New Zealand VAC - the guidance is different if you applied through an enrolment location operated by Immigration New Zealand - make sure to read the guidance in this link!!

Please include your cover letter and a pre-paid self-addressed envelope, which is trackable and signature on delivery. (If you are posting your passport to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, you must add in a pre-paid self-addressed envelope). 

Please address your envelope to 'Duty Manager - UK Visa Application Centre' mark the envelope 'Replacement Request' and add your GWF number next to that. Please ensure the VAC address is correct.  

2) Arrange an appointment with the Visa Application Centre (VAC) to hand in your passport:

You will need to log into the VAC website, putting in your GWF number and your password. See above links for access and opening/closing times. Make sure to take your cover letter in with you.

Please remember the 90 day replacement scheme with the UKVI is only available until the end of this year. If you wish to leave for the UK soon, make sure to hand in your passport 30-40 days before your intended travel date. If you want to travel later in the year, wait until 30-40 days before your intended travel date and then hand it in. If you want to travel early next year we highly recommend that you make sure your passport is with a VAC by the 2nd week in December 2020!
When it comes to travel outside of Australia, you will need to apply for an exemption visa, please see our blog for more details on this:
There is a 14 day self-isolation rule for when you arrive in the UK, but there are travel corridors which will exempt certain travellers from doing this. Please
read our blog on 14 day self-isolation in the UK and what to do before you depart, we keep this updated regularly:

 

Good luck and we wish you all the best. If you have any questions, we are here to help the best we can - restlessworld.com.au