COVID-19 Update: Immigration Frequently Asked Questions
Because of COVID-19, there is now a lot of uncertainty for individuals and industries worldwide. Please see our FAQs if you are a worker, student or sponsor and any of the following scenarios or queries apply to you:
I am a visa holder or short-term resident in the UK:
My visa is due to expire but I cannot return home because of reasons associated with COVID-19. What shall I do?
You can apply to the Home Office to have your visa extended. It will be extended up to 31st May 2020 and you will not be regarded as an “overstayer” or be penalised in the future. If your visa expires after 31st May 2020, then this measure does not apply to you.
You can apply online by completing this form: https://gov.smartwebportal.co.uk/homeoffice/public/webform.asp?id=199&id2=5C97E7
I am a doctor, nurse or paramedic working for the NHS:
My visa is due to expire. Do I need to apply for an extension?
If your visa is due to expire before 1st October 2020, you will automatically be granted an extension by 1 year. You do not need to apply for this extension- the Home Office will contact NHS employers if you are eligible. Your employer will then notify you if you have received an immediate extension.
If you are unsure about this, please email the Coronavirus Immigration Team to advise on your situation at CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk
Are there limits on the hours I can work for, so I comply with my visa requirements?
As of 9th April 2020, there is no longer a limited number of hours you can work or volunteer for the NHS as either a doctor, nurse or paramedic. This applies if you are either a Tier 4 student, Tier 2 worker and working for the NHS is your second job, a visiting academic worker or a holder of a short-term visa and you are allowed to volunteer.
I am a sponsor:
How do I conduct right to work checks during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Please visit https://www.hudsonmckenzie.com/covid-19-update-advice-for-employers-on-right-to-work-checks/ on the procedures to follow. This will now be conducted electronically with documentation being either scanned or photographed and sent to employers.
Do I need to report employee absences if this is for COVID-19 related reasons?
You do not need to report to the Home Office if employees change to working from home conditions due to COVID-19. Other disassociated changes should be notified as standard practice.
You are not required to report employee or student absences if they are associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, such as travel restrictions or self-isolation reasons. Equally, you do not need to withdraw sponsorship where:
- Students are unable to attend their studies for 60 days or more
- Employees are absent from workplace without being paid for 4 weeks or more
For further information or to discuss any further questions please contact our UK Immigration Lawyers on 020 3318 5799 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org