In these unprecedented times, Axiom Stone Solicitors will, in common with other businesses, be following the Government's official advice on social distancing and social isolating.

Public health measures must have the highest priority and, as a result, some staff will be working from home. Also, our offices will be closed to visitors.

However, we wish to reassure existing and potential clients that we will continue to provide the highest levels of service.

Please be assured we have a robust business continuity plan in place that is designed to minimise the impact on our service to you.

In addition, please continue to contact us electronically or by phone in relation to the progress of your matters or on any issues of concern to you.

Until further notice, service of claim forms, application notices and all other court documents and contractual notices must be made to our head office only (we shall not accept service through any other means). Our head office address is at Axiom Stone Solicitors, Axiom House, 1 Spring Villa Road, Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 7EB. We ask that all other correspondence be sent by email to the relevant member of Axiom Stone Solicitors. In the event that service of court documents or contractual notices is attempted by post, courier, DX, or fax to any address other than that of our Head Office, we cannot provide any assurance that they will be received or processed. We are grateful for your understanding at this time.

We will update this information regularly on our website (Please see COVID-19 Updates Here) and via social media.

Finally, we urge everybody to follow the official advice on fighting the virus outbreak so enabling you to stay safe and well.

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Immigration System during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak

Due to the current pandemic caused by COVID-19, the Home Office has closed all their Visa Application Centres around the world and has deferred determination of all visa applications until further notice. However, the Home Office is still functioning normally for in-country applications.

I obtained a UK visa but I am unable to leave my country, do I need to resubmit another visa application?

Those who have obtained their visas or have received an email from the Home Office granting them with the visa will need to inform the Home Office in order to extend their visa automatically rather than re-submit a new application. This is applicable if you were unable to leave your home countries owing to the Covid-19 outbreak or have been unable to collect your passport and visa because the UK visa centre are closed.

I am currently in the UK on a visitor visa. My visa has expired and I cannot return home. What shall I do?

The Home Office have announced that if you are either:

  • in the UK on a short term visa (less than 12 months), and your visa has expired after 31st January; or
  • your visa is due to expire and you cannot return to your home country because you are either in self-isolation or your home country has closed their borders due to COVID-19,

then you will need to inform the Home Office and your visas will be extended until the end of May 2020 (until further notice). This will prevent you from being considered as an over stayer, damaging your immigration history and impacting any future applications.

My Residence Permit is due to expire soon, can I extend it?

If you are residing in the UK on a long-term visa and you need to either

  • extend your visa; or
  • apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain; or
  • apply for British citizenship

you can submit your application along with supporting documents by post instead of at the UKVI Centres.

I am currently on a Tier 4 (student) visa, can I switch to Tier 2 (General Worker), without leaving the UK.

If you are residing in the UK on a long-term visa and you want to apply for a different visa to stay in the UK long-term, the Home Office is also temporarily expanding the in-country switching provisions. This will mean you can apply to switch routes, such as from Tier 4 (student) to Tier 2 (General Worker), whilst remaining in the UK. 

I am employed and working with the NHS but my visa is due to expire. What will happen?

If you are a doctor, nurse or paramedic working for the NHS then your visa will automatically be extended by one year. This only applies if your visa is due to expire before 1 October 2020. The extension will also apply to your family members with a visa.

You will not need to apply for this extension and the government will contact your employer directly if you are eligible. If you believe you are entitled to this extension but have not yet been contacted then we would recommend that you discuss the matter with your employer to investigate further.

Furthermore, the government have announced that there no restriction on the number of hours you can work or volunteer each week if you are a

  • tier 4 student
  • tier 2 worker and your NHS job is a second job
  • visiting academic researcher
  • holder of a short-term visa and are permitted to volunteer

Can I claim asylum in the UK?

You can still claim asylum by contacting the Asylum intake unit appointments and register your claim. The Home Office will contact you (probably once locked down is over) with appointment details.

Can I still appeal against the Home Office decision?

As for the Immigration Courts and Tribunals, you will still be able to appeal against the Home Office decisions.

If you have an appeal hearing that has been listed in April or May, the Immigration Tribunals have adjourned all existing oral hearings, and all appeals will proceed by way of Case Management Hearing via telephone or Skype. All appeal bundles (witness statements, skeleton argument and supporting documents) should be sent electronically before the Case Management Hearing.

Nadia Bazzaz – Immigration Solicitor

“During these unprecedented times it is important that appropriate information and solutions are being provided. We have received many enquiries from clients regarding their status with the UK and what will happen to them and their family if their visas expires. We understand the stress and the impact the Covid-19 outbreak has had on individuals, their families and employers. We have been working endlessly to adapt to the situation and offering practical advice and solutions to obtain the best possible outcome. We will are committed to supporting and serving your needs.”

For further enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0207 016 9341 or by e-mail to immigration@axiomstone.co.uk  or nb@axiomstone.co.uk to speak to our dedicated team of immigration professionals.

Sources

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents#if-youre-a-doctor-nurse-or-paramedic-working-for-the-nhs

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/visas-extended-for-those-currently-unable-to-return-home-due-to-covid-19