My UK working visa is about to start - should I still travel to the UK?

Last updated 1st April 2020

If your UK visa start/entry date is upcoming, you're probably wondering if you should still consider travelling to the UK as planned....

We are all facing uncertain times due to current COVID-19 pandemic. This is affecting everyone worldwide and we are sure you are wondering if you should or should not travel to the UK at this time.

There is currently no travel ban to the UK, but you must ensure that you check your countries official government website for travel advice before you go. 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. Keep an eye on this blog for regular updates.

Your UK working visa will not be taken off you (or cancelled) 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 visa will remain valid.

Below is a guide covering what you should check before you consider traveling during this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

What to do before you consider traveling to the UK

1) Check your home country's travel advice, looking specifically at whether the UK have enacted a full travel ban

Below are links to the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand government websites for current travel advice and advisories.

UK - Travel Advice
Australia - Travel Advice
Canada - Travel Advice
New Zealand - Travel Advice

2) Check the UKVI and Home Office Guidance on Immigration

Here you will find out if there are any updates on current UK working visas or 30 day entry clearance vignettes that have already activated or are about to start. If there are no current updates on these for your nationality and you decide you do not wish to arrive in the UK please see step 3.

3) Contact the UKVI and Home Office

If you have a current UK working visa and have not entered into the UK or your vignette is about to expire or about to activate and you are unable to enter the UK, we recommend that you email the Coronavirus Immigration Helpline. When you email please provide your full name as per your passport, your GWF number located on your application and attach a clear colour copy of your vignette sticker which is inside your passport. In the email you are asking them to give you advice on your current vignette and if they can extend the validity of your vignette.

Coronavirus Immigration Helpline Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk
Telephone UK: 0800 678 1767
(Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm / calls are free of charge)
Due to Data Protection Regulations the UKVI can only speak to the visa holder or applicant about their specific query.

The UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) department have not released any updates, advice, or guidance on what will happen to any current 30 day entry vignettes or vignettes that have just expired or about to activate. Please do not panic, the UKVI will not take your visa off you and it will not be cancelled by them. We ask that you sit tight at the moment... your health and safety are our main concern, and when we have updates on any changes we will share this with you.

For anyone who has an approved visa and the 30 day vignette is to start in May/June/July, we ask that you please be patient in this difficult time and we will wait to see how circumstances develop in the coming weeks.

If your passport is currently with a Visa Application centre (where you did your biometrics)...

Most Visa Application Centres have already closed until further notice. Your visa is being processed at this time or is already completed. You will need to be patient and wait for your passport to be returned to you. Once you have your passport please follow the guide from step one. VAC (Visa Application Centres) will return your passport in due course. If you need your passport back urgently please contact the UKVI or the Coronavirus Immigration Helpdesk, so they can give permission to release your passport and have it couriered to you. If you did not purchase a courier at the time of your biometrics you may need to contact the VAC and purchase a courier. 

Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East visit: tls.contact

All other countries visit: vfsglobal.co.uk 

For more details & information, please check out our other COVID-19 related posts below:

» I already have a Visa for the UK, but can't travel due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic... what now?

» Should I apply to transfer my UK Entry Vignette to a later date due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus?

» COVID-19 Coronavirus & my current UK work visa or UK entry vignette / 30 day entry clearance