Covid – 19 Update on travelling to the UK and UK visa applications in UAE

Covid – 19 Update on travelling to the UK and UK visa applications in UAE

Family Law – UAE and UK

If you are a UK Citizen or visitor travelling to the UK, you must complete a form before you arrive in the UK.  You cannot submit the form until 48 hours before you are due to arrive in the UK.  You will need to show that you have completed the form when you arrive at the UK border, by either printing a copy or showing it on your phone.  You should prepare this form before you travel and information would include : your passport details, the name of the airline that you are travelling with, your flight number and your booking reference, the name of the airport that you will be arriving into, the date of your arrival, the address that you will be staying at for your first 14 days in the UK and details of someone who can be contacted if you get ill while you are in the UK. 

You will need to self-isolate at the address that you have stated that you will be staying for the first 14 days after you arrive in the UK, unless you are travelling from certain Countries or Territories which are exempt.  Currently, the UAE is not exempt therefore any travel to the UK from UAE will mean that you will have to self isolate for the first 14 days after arrival.  The UK government will use the information from your form to check that you are self-isolating.   You should be aware that you may be fined up to £100 if you refuse to provide your contact details and you may be fined up to £1,000 if you refuse to self-isolate.  

For those who have pending UK visa applications in UAE, some UK Visa Application Centres are resuming services where local restrictions allow. At the time of writing, VFS Global in Dubai has resumed some services to assist with Visa applications and where services are resuming, existing customers will be contacted when a  decision has been made on their application.  

If your passport has been given to VFS and a decision on your application has been made, you will be contacted to arrange collection of your passport.  If your application has not been decided, you will not be contacted until such time as a decision is made and your passport needs to be returned to you.  In the event that your application is pending and you need to have your passport returned, you will need to contact VFS or the Visa Application Centre where you submitted your application.  

If your application to enter UK has been decided and 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 2020.  To make a request for a replacement visa, you should contact the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre at or by calling 0800 678 1767. You will need to provide your name, nationality, date of birth and your GWF reference number with ‘REPLACEMENT 30 DAY VISA’ in the subject line of your email.  You will be contacted by the relevant Visa Application Centre to arrange for a replacement visa to be endorsed in your passport. Once endorsed, 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.  

If you are a British national and need to apply for a passport, her Majesty’s Passport Office is accepting online passport applications.  Before making the application, you should check if the Visa Application Centre nearest to you is open for you to submit your application and your passport.  If the Visa Application Centre nearest to you is closed, you will not be able to apply for a British passport until it reopens.  If you urgently need to travel to the UK, you should contact the British Embassy nearest to you to discuss your options. 

The above is a general commentary on the subject matter and should not be construed as specific legal advice.  Arrangements stated in the article are subject to change at very short notice and updated information as to the relevant Laws, Rules, Regulations and requirement should be sought prior to making any application.  To seek specific advice, please do contact Dee Popat.

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