Information on coronavirus (COVID-19) for non-UK nationals

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus. 

This page includes specific information for non-UK nationals. 

For general health information and advice, please visit the NHS website. This includes advice on what to do if you are self-isolating, and how and when to contact NHS services.

Learn more about the government response to coronavirus on GOV.UK, including the support you can get if you do not have permission to live permanently in the UK.

Your access to healthcare

No charges will be made in the diagnosis or treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19). This applies to everyone, including anyone living in the UK without permission:

  1. No charges apply to testing for COVID-19, even if the result is negative, or to any treatment provided for COVID-19 if the result is positive or up to the point that it is negatively diagnosed. The same is true of most other infectious diseases.
  2. No immigration checks are required for overseas visitors that are known to be only undergoing testing or treatment for COVID-19.

The message that COVID-19 testing and treatment is free of charge irrespective of immigration status is accessible in 40 languages in Public Health England's Migrant Health Guide.

The Government have issued specific advice and guidance on the health needs of migrant patients. NHS 111 can help you if you have an urgent medical problem and you're not sure what to do, they have access to translators if you need them.

Visas and immigration

The Government has published guidance for those affected by changes to UK immigration and borders due to coronavirus (COVID-19). You can read the guidance on their website. Here you will find information on Right to work checks; Landlord right to rent checks; Immigration removal centres; Advice for UK visa applicants and Advice for Tier 2,4 and 5 sponsors.

If you’re in the UK and your leave expired after 24 January 2020, your visa will be extended to 31 July 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have already had your visa extended to 31 May 2020 your visa will be extended automatically to 31 July 2020.

You must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) to update your records if your visa is expiring. 

You will be asked to provide: 

  • your full name (include any middle names) 

  • date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy) 

  • nationality 

  • your previous visa reference number 

  • why you can’t go back to your home country, for example if the border has closed 

You can also contact the coronavirus immigration helpline if you have any immigration queries related to coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Coronavirus Immigration Helpline 
Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) - calls are free of charge. 

Email: [email protected]

Refugee Council are compiling updates to the Government’s Asylum & Resettlement policy and practice in response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Please visit their website for more information.

EU Settlement Scheme

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), many organisations supporting people to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme have had to cancel their face-to-face outreach activities. Some organisations are seeking to provide support in other ways, in line with social distancing guidance, for example via telephone and online. We have compiled a list of some of these organisations. You can also view the full list of Home Office funded organisations and what they are offering. 

The Home Office continues to process applications, but they will take longer than usual and some of their support services and application routes have temporarily changed. The EUSS Resolution Centre is receiving calls and will respond to email enquiries, which can be made via the online contact form. Emails from support organisations will be prioritised where possible. 

The ID document scanner locations are following all the latest Public Health England advice to protect staff and the decision has been made to suspend them at this time.

The postal route for submitting Identity evidence is now open again.

Additional support is available to those EU citizens in the UK who do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to apply online. Assisted Digital can offer assistance over the phone.

Please also make use of online resources, such as the  EU Londoners Hub. Here you can read information about the EU Settlement Scheme in community languages, check your eligibility to apply and find services that offer advice and support online and over the phone.

The deadline to apply to stay in the UK is currently 30 June 2021, so you still have time to submit your application, however, we recommend you do not put it off for too long. To prepare for your application make sure that you keep as much evidence of your time in the UK as possible, use the settled status application checklist for help.

Outreach and face-to-face support may also have an impact on those seeking help to access the Windrush Scheme. You can continue to make use of online and phone services, where they are available. You can also contact the Government’s Windrush Helpline on 0800 678 1925.

Own language resources

A list of COVID-19 resources and services in your chosen language can be found on the Coronavirus Hub. This includes translations of official government guidance on COVID-19 in 60 languages, translated information on employment rights and the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as a list support services available in community languages.

Time off work

If you have concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19) and expect you will need to take time off work because you or someone you care for or live with is sick or self-isolating, visit our coronavirus employment rights page for the latest information on what you’re entitled to. It is critical that Londoners who are more likely to be in insecure employment or are more vulnerable to sickness are aware of their rights to make such claims. 

Although the Government has taken steps to prevent people who are unable to work due to coronavirus from losing an income, not all of these measures will be available to a person who has leave to remain with the No Recourse to Public Funds ‘NRPF’ condition visit the NRPF website for more information.

The NRPF Network has produced a factsheet with information for local authorities on support for people with NRPF; their rights and entitlements and Home Office changes. 

Getting support

If you / your household are self-isolating following Government guidance, you may be able to get support through one of the number of local mutual aid groups that have been established across London to support those more vulnerable to coronavirus in our society. There is also a London-wide Mutual Aid group, specialising in support for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Linguist Aid is a community initiative to connect volunteers who speak a foreign language with local mutual aid groups. It acknowledges the multilingual assets people have so that support can reach those with limited English skills.

Please consider joining your local group to access or offer support. We have put together coronavirus volunteering opportunities in London broken down by borough.

You might also be worried about coronavirus and how it could affect your life. This may include being asked to stay at home and avoid other people, or being unable to visit family abroad. Please see some links to guidance on how to care for your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.

To find mental health service providers in your local area, use the advice and support signposting service on the Hub.

Travel advice

If you arrive in the UK on or after 8 June 2020, you will not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK (known as ‘self-isolating’). Before you travel, you should provide your journey, contact details and the address where you will self-isolate. You will be able to complete the public health passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive. You must present these details on your arrival in England.

You may be refused permission to enter the UK (if you are not a British citizen), or fined if you do not to provide your contact details or do not self-isolate when you arrive in the UK on or after 8 June 2020. Read more about the government's border health measures guidance.

If you need to travel abroad, please read the government’s Foreign Travel Advice relevant to the country you are visiting.

To manage risks, keep up to date on current travel advice. The Foreign Office has published information and advice on travel safety

If you require the contact details of embassies and consulates, you can find these online.

For more general information and guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) visit our coronavirus guidance hub.

You can also find the answers to our Frequently asked questions about coronavirus.

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