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Travelling to the UK Post COVID on a Tier 2 Visa Expired Vignette

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused considerable confusion and inconvenience for many thousands of people who were planning to come to the UK from around the world to travel, work, study, and visit family members. The process of applying for and securing a skilled job with a licensed sponsor in the UK and then applying for a visa under the Tier 2 points-based system (PBS) scheme takes considerable time, determination, and can be costly. Then to have all of your plans put on hold for an indefinite time due to Coronavirus, without the certainty of knowing when you can leave your home country and whether the job offer or indeed the employer will still exist in the future, can be deeply worrying.

One question we are frequently asked is whether having applied for a Tier 2 visa from outside of the UK, and then receiving a 30-day vignette sticker to allow you entry into the UK, this can still be used if it has expired due to delayed entry into the UK. In this article, we will address this question, explaining the government’s latest advice on this matter, and what you should do next.

What is a Tier 2 vignette?

Anyone from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) who applies for and is granted a Tier 2 work visa, will have an entry clearance sticker placed into their passport by the local UK visa office; this sticker is referred to as a ‘vignette. The vignette sticker lasts for a period of 30 days. In some cases, Tier 2 applicants may not wish to travel to the UK immediately and may specify a later planned entry date into the UK. In this case, the Home Office may extend the start date of the 30-day vignette sticker to reflect this later date, but only for a maximum of three months from the date of application.

Within ten days of arrival in the UK or before your vignette expires (whichever is sooner), you will need to collect your Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) from the location specified in your decision letter; this is typically a UK post-office or your sponsor (if you chose this option in your application). Only those over 18 can collect a BRP.

Read Also: Renewed your passport? Here is How to Transfer Your Visa Vignette to Your New Passport From Outside Of The UK

What to do if your 30-day visa is about to or has already expired

If your Tier 2 entry visa vignette has expired as a result of being unable to travel to the UK to work on your planned date, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, you are not alone. Thankfully, for those around the world in this scenario, the government has stated that it will be possible to request a replacement vignette sticker with a revised date of expiry, at no additional cost to the applicant. The Home Office website states the following:

“If your 30-day visa to travel to the UK for work, study or to join family has expired, or is about to expire, you can request a replacement visa with revised validity dates free of charge until the end of this year.

To make a request, contact the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre. You’ll need to include your name, nationality, date of birth, and your GWF reference number with ‘REPLACEMENT 30 DAY VISA’ in the subject line. If you’ve already contacted us about this, please let us know in your email.

You’ll be contacted when our VACs reopen to arrange for a replacement visa to be endorsed in your passport. Your replacement visa will be valid for 90 days.

You will not be penalised for being unable to collect your BRP while coronavirus measures are in place”.

You will then be contacted by your local Visa Application Centre (VAC) to arrange for your replacement sticker to be issued. As many VACs are still closed due to COVID-19, you may need to wait until your local office reopens before you will be contacted.

The Home Office aims to respond to all emails to the Coronavirus Immigration Centre within five working days. If you are awaiting a response to your email, they advise not to send a follow-up email as this may cause further delay. They also advise against calling if you already have an enquiry pending.

How can I cancel my Tier 2 visa if I no longer plan to work in the UK?

In some cases, it may be that a Tier 2 visa applicant changes their mind, perhaps due to an offer of employment being withdrawn, or due to ongoing travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19. If you no longer plan to come to the UK, the Home Office recommends that if you have provided your biometric information already, you should send an email to the coronavirus immigration help centre to request a cancellation of your application. Once your email has been received and processed, you will then be advised if your application fee will be refunded (or not). They request that your cancellation email should include (in English), your full name, nationality, date of birth, any UKVI reference numbers you have been given, and to use ‘CANCELLATION REQUEST’ in your subject line.

Final words

These are uncertain times for all immigrants planning to come to the UK. If you still want to come to the UK to take up your new role but you are unsure if your job offer will continue to be valid, speak to your employer as soon as possible. You will then be able to make an informed decision based on what they tell you. If you have decided to take up your job offer, you can request a replacement vignette sticker which will ensure you have the permission you need to enter the UK. If you are unsure of your position from an immigration perspective as a result of COVID-19, it is advisable to speak to immigration Solicitors who will be able to advise you on your best course of action. We wish you the best of luck with your new adventure in the UK.

Related Articles: COVID 19: Steps to take if your Visa has expired or is about to expire Immediately After The Lockdown

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Reiss Edwards Awards

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Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge
ACQ5 Awards Award ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated Three Best Rated
Department For International Development Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge University Of Cambridge

O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

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"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

Christine .C

"I wholeheartedly recommend Reiss Edwards to anyone who is in search of immigration advice. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amar who has been very thorough in finding a solution to my enquiry, and followed up with additional information even after the consultation. I normally don't leave reviews, and this firm already has enough good reviews for me to need to my own anyways! However, in this instance, I do hope that my review can let anyone who reads it be aware that RE is a great choice, these people care enough to help you the best they can".

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"I had the chance to use Reiss Edwards services for my Tier 2 extension. Marija dealt with my case and I found her very professional and experienced in dealing with my application. The care and attention to detail was exceptional. I would definitely recommend Reiss Edwards!".

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"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

Saira Lawson-Brown

"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

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"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

Deepak Chartbhurjh

"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

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Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them".

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"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation".

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

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"I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, I was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that I wasn't disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle their case, contact Reiss Edwards".

Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is definitely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind".

Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards".

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Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them".

Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

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