UK offers easy visa extensions to Aussie expats and travellers

Published:  27 Mar at 6 PM
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At the same time as thousands of British expats and tourists are trapped in lockdowns overseas, the UK government is offering visa extensions to stranded Aussies.

The numbers of Australian visitors and expatriates stranded in the UK due to the pandemic are to be offered easy visa extensions by the British government. Flight cancellations, border closures and the UK’s recently announced lockdown have resulted in many thousands of Australian citizens being unable to return to their home country. Many are expats and the remainder are tourists or business travellers now unable to get flights back home at any price.

According to a Home Office statement, the visa extensions are in place to give Aussies peace of mind in that they’ll not be penalised for overstaying their original visas. The extensions will last until the end of May this year and will be available to all via email to the Home Office’s UK Visa and Immigration office. In addition, those needing to extend or switch their work visas will be able to do so whilst in the UK, rather than applying via their home country’s authority. Also allowed will be switching from a student visa to a work visa, although applications may take longer due to virus-related operational pressures.

Australian expats, students and those changing jobs in the UK will be relieved by the new rules, but the willingness to help Australian expats in the UK whilst ignoring the needs of British expats and travellers marooned overseas is expected to cause anger amongst British citizens desperate to get back to the UK.
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