Last updated 1st April 2020
We are all facing uncertain times due to COVID-19 Coronavirus, and we are sure you are wondering if you should or should not travel to the UK at this time.
Have you received your approved UK Working Visa and have not yet arrived into the UK? Are you unsure if you should go and wondering what this means for you and, what will happen to your UK Working Visa if you change your plans?
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.
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 do 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.
We highly recommend to those who have a current 30 day entry clearance in their passport to please hold off on applying for a vignette transfer for the next 30 days. Updates from the UKVI will be announced and there may be some sort of extension issued to the validity, so hold tight! And keep reading this blog each day to find out about any changes made by the UK Visa and Immigration department.
Below is a step by step guide covering what you should check before you consider applying for a vignette transfer during this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
1) Check your Countries travel advice.
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 that have been issued or any current or about to start vignettes for 30 day entry clearance. If there are no current updates on these for your nationality and you decide you do not wish to arrive in the UK, you may need to consider a vignette transfer so that you can travel later.
3) Contact the UKVI and Home Office
If you have a current UK working visa and have not entered into the UK yet or your vignette is about to expiry or about to activate and you are unable to enter the UK, we recommend that you email giving them your GWF number located on your application and attach a clear colour copy of your vignette sticker inside your passport.
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.
4) What is involved with a vignette transfer?
- You need to apply for a new vignette sticker with a new entry date into the UK
- The cost for the application is £154GBP
- You will need to attend another Biometric Appointment in your country of residence
- You may not be allowed to apply for the vignette transfer in another country if you do not hold a valid visa for that country, or if you visa is valid for less than 6 months
- Once again, your passport will be sent away for processing at the Biometric Appointment
- Processing a vignette transfer can take between 15-20 business days (or you can opt for priority service with the UKVI at an extra cost, and the vignette should be processed between 5-10 business days)
- You can only apply for a vignette transfer if your travel date is inside 3 months from the application date
- The expiry date of your visa will NOT change
If you do decide that delaying your travel to the United Kingdom is imminent and you need help to apply for a vignette transfer, Restless World is on hand to do this for you no matter where you are in the world. We will plan and organize the whole process for you! But we do encourage you to check the UKVI and Home Office Guidance on Immigration and contact them as well before you make this decision to ensure it is the best decision for your specific circumstances.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to give our office a call, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.