COVID-19: Abrupt border closures raise legal issues for expatriates and travellers
- Nicolas Rollason quoted by IBA

23 April 2020

Nicolas Rollason, head of our immigration team and Secretary of the IBA Immigration and Law Committee, is quoted in an article by IBA on the legal issues that stranded tourists are now facing due to sudden border closures and the lack of law change and legislation from the UK in the midst of the  Coronavirus pandemic.


They haven't changed the laws in the UK - it's slightly unsatisfying. While the UK government has said that temporary visas are being automatically extended until 31 May 2020, people still need to request the extension be applied to them.

The other big issue is that these decisions have all been communicated via announcements and are absent any legislation to underpin them. It’s good that they are policy announcements, as they can be flexible, but it also leaves questions and is unsatisfactory."

We’re seeking urgent clarification from the Home Office on the furlough scheme, as there are lots of questions."

The UK doesn’t actually have an absolute obligation to repatriate its citizens. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been at pains to point out that UK nationals stuck overseas have no legal right to consular assistance… but wants to be seen to be helping at times of emergency. There is no legal obligation, but perhaps a moral one."

The full article from IBA can be read here: Covid-19: abrupt border closures raise legal issues for expatriates and travellers

About the author

Nick Rollason heads our immigration team and advises on all areas of UK immigration and nationality law. He has particular expertise in providing strategic advice to businesses on their global immigration needs. He is regularly consulted by the UK immigration authorities on proposed changes to the UK immigration rules and policy.

COVID-19 related insights:

COVID-19 related insights:

Our COVID-19 statement

We recognise that these unique times are presenting unprecedented challenges for our clients and we are here to support you in any way we can.

Click to view

Can you get out of or suspend a contract because of Coronavirus?

Alex Torpey covers the key things to look out for if you are relying on the Force Majeure clause.

Watch the video on LinkedIn

Overcoming the challenges of co-parenting for separated and divorced parents

Rachel Freeman, Partner in our Family Law team, addresses some issues that we are seeing arise for separated parents in the current crisis.

Read the blog

Tech in Two Minutes - Episode 7 - The Coronavirus challenge for tech coworking spaces

Andrew Solomon speaks about the challenge for tech companies and coworking spaces during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Listen to the podcast

The legal basis for lockdown

Alun Milford, Partner in our Criminal Litigation team, provides an in-depth look at the legal basis behind the current lockdown.

Read the blog

Managing your Migrant workforce in the COVID-19 crisis

On Friday 3 April, immigration partner and head of department, Nick Rollason, hosted a webinar looking at urgent issues employers are facing during the COVID-19 crisis and answered some of the key questions being raised.

Watch the webinar recording

Furlough leave and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: key legal considerations for Employers

On Thursday 9 April, Andreas White, Partner in our Employment Law Team, delivered an overview of the scheme with a focus of the key legal issues for UK employers.

Watch the webinar recording

Coronavirus and the perils of signing your Will

Will instructions have apparently risen by 30% since COVID-19 reached our shores. What effect does COVID-19 have on Will signings? James Ward and Diva Shah in our Private Client team blog.

Read the blog

The juggling act of a single mother, home school teacher and head of a family team

Charlotte Bradley, Head of our Family Law Team, reflects on how the COVID-19 crisis has affected working parents like her.

Read the blog

The future public inquiry into COVID-19

Calls for a public inquiry are continuing to mount and are likely to prove difficult to resist. In this blog, Sophie Kemp considers the framework for such inquiries, and the key issues likely to form the core of its terms of reference.

Read the blog

Skip to content Home About Us Insights Services Contact Accessibility