How the UK Visas and Immigration department is preparing for Brexit
My husband is Japanese. We have to re-apply for his spouse visa in September.
It expires after 2.5 years and costs about £1,400 each time. How’s the immigration department preparing for Brexit? I foresee massive wait times. What will that mean for my husband and his status - including his right to work?
A. After March 29, EU citizens will need to apply for settled or pre-settled status to remain in the UK. This obviously won't apply to your husband as he is Japanese but I can see why you are concerned about increased waiting times if most EU citizens do need to contact the UK Visas and Immigration department at a similar time.
The good news is that the deadline for applying will be June 30, 2021, if we leave with a deal in place, or December 31, 2020 without a deal, so hopefully applications will be spread out over that time period.
To prepare, the UK Visas and Immigration department, under the Home Office, is opening new service centres in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and Croydon to help people applying for work or study visas, settlement or citizenship from within the UK. There will also be 50 enhanced service centres nationally for people who are willing to pay for things like same day appointments, and on-demand services, along with a premium lounge in London. An additional seven dedicated Service and Support Centres will be located in in Belfast, Cardiff, Croydon, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield and Solihull for anyone who needs more support with their applications.
All of this should help ease the burden and decrease delays. However, even the best laid plans can go wrong, especially when it involves such a large initiative, so what would happen if your husband didn't get his visa back in time?
Well, the government has confirmed that, providing he makes his application at least 28 days before his visa ends, that his immigration status will stay the same..
He’ll still have the right to work, access education and receive benefits while he waits for a new visa.
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