COVID-19 support for UK migrants
For migrants living in the UK, the UK government has vowed to give these migrants support if they are ineligible to reside permanently in the UK. This support can be in the forms of access to public funds, medical treatment and so forth.
Access to public funding
Migrants may be able to access public funds by making a ‘change of conditions’ application. This may apply to individuals on a UK family or private life visa and one of the following scenarios applies to them:
- They are destitute or at risk of becoming destitute
- They are experiencing exceptional financial difficulties or
- Their child is at a major risk solely because of the migrant’s low income
Immigration statuses will be unaffected if individuals seek to take a coronavirus test or medical treatment. Equally, migrants are not subjected to pay the cost for the diagnosis of coronavirus nor treatment of it.
Should migrants be considered as ‘vulnerable’, they will be required to shield, meaning they should stay at home and not leave their homes. In this way, migrants are eligible for support whilst they shield, such as via delivery orders for medication and food supplies.
Housing support costs
Migrant renters and tenants are eligible for UK government support.
Mortgagees in difficult financial circumstances can be offered repayment holidays for a period of up to 3 months. Individuals at risk of not being able to pay their mortgage or face dire financial difficulties must contact their mortgage provider to discuss their options.
For employed migrants, their employers can claim for monetary support from the government if their business is unable to remain open because of COVID-19 or their business no longer requires the migrant to do their job also because of COVID-19.
Employed migrants who strictly do not have access to public funds, i.e it clearly states NRPF or ‘no public funds’ on their biometric residence permit, then they can apply for other forms of support such as Statutory Sick Pay, the Job Support Scheme or the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme, or contributory Employment and Support allowance if they have made enough NI contributions.
Self-employed migrants can apply for monetary support via the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme from next month, December 2020.
For students, they can contact their embassy or consulate for support. Their sponsors do not need to report their absences if they are caused by the pandemic.
Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require legal assistance with your employment or immigration matters, please get in touch with a professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone +44(0)20 3318 5794.