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UK visa holders, with expiry dates between 1st January 2021 and 28th February 2021, unable leave the UK due to the global travel restrictions must submit a request to the Home Office for additional time to remain in the UK.

What is it?

‘Exceptional assurance’ granted by the Home Office is a short-term protection against any adverse immigration action or consequences after your leave has expired. Visa holders must abide by the same visa conditions which allows for work, study or renting accommodation during this extension. The Home Office clearly states that exceptional assurance does not grant visa holders leave.


Visa holders must submit their request for an exceptional assurance by email with “Request for Assurance” in the subject field, to the Home Office:

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You must include the supporting documents listed in the diagram above. You will also be required to provide evidence to show why you cannot leave the UK before your leave/visa expires. This should be a copy of your confirmed flight ticket or if you have coronavirus, must include your positive coronavirus test result.

Following our previous client applications, the Home Office has been responding within 10 days or so. However, you should allow for delays due to lockdown. You are allowed to continue on the conditions as per your current or most recently expired visa.


This ‘exceptional assurance’ is a short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences after your leave has expired. If conditions allowed you to work, study or rent accommodation you may continue to do so during the period of your exceptional assurance. Exceptional assurance does not grant you leave. It is a means to protect those who are unable to leave the UK due to COVID-19 restrictions and not to facilitate travel, other than to return home.

Should you decide to remain in the UK, you will need to apply for a visa. During the pandemic, the Home Office is accepting in country applications.

Contact us if you require any assistance in switching visas or guidance on this matter.


Bee has more than 18 years’ experience in UK immigration and nationality law and has been advising businesses that have been expanding into the UK or growing their UK presence or workforce.