COVID-19 Update: Latest Guidelines for Sponsors, Migrants and Short-Term Students
On Monday 20th April 2020, The Home Office published its most recent guidance for i) sponsors, ii) visa customers overseas and iii) visa holders and short-term residents in the UK.
Visa Holders and Short-term Residents
- Visa Extensions: Individuals who already have
leave in the UK and plan to remain after their leave expires, they must
continue to apply for an extension to their leave. For those not planning to
stay in the UK after their visa expiration date, they must inform the
Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) to update their records. Upon the point of
submitting an application, an individual’s immigration status will be secured.
- Complimentary Services: Both Priority and Super Priority Services for UK customers have been discontinued ad interim. However, the Home Office will try to meet the standard of these services if individuals have previously enrolled their biometrics. When a decision is made, individuals will receive a confirmation email followed by a decision letter. If there are delays to making a decision because of COVID-19, individuals will be contacted and refunded the priority service fee paid.
- Entrepreneur Visas: Where individuals are on a Tier 1 visa and their business has incurred interruptions, they do not need to hire a minimum of 2 people for 12 consecutive months each. This 12-month period to employ an individual for can consist of many jobs across various months but will not include time where workers were furloughed. Individuals unable to employ staff for this period prior to their visa expiration date are permitted to temporarily extend their stay to meet this obligation. This applies to applications made after 31st May 2020 and where jobs relied upon by individuals were suspended due to COVID-19.
Visa Customers Overseas
- Visa Considerations: Applicants for either a Global Talent, Start up or Innovator visa should still apply, and their applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Individuals may still qualify for a visa if they have been unable to travel to the UK and their endorsement from an endorsement body has ceased.
- Sponsor Reporting Duties: If an individual is sponsoring a Tier 2 or 5 employee and is still waiting for a decision on their application, their sponsor reporting duties will commence immediately from the date of Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocation to the employee. Sponsors cannot report information via the sponsor management system but must have a robust system in place to record and maintain the appropriate information in line with the sponsor guidance on their own systems.
- Provisions for Tier 4 Visas: Tier 4 students who withdraw from their studies because of COVI-19 will not be counted in future Basic Compliance Assessments. The current provisions for students who are distance learning will remain in place until 31st May, subject to review.
To view other concessions previously laid out in the guidance by the Home Office, please see the news and publications on our website at: https://www.hudsonmckenzie.com/news/ Please also view GOV.UK to keep updated with the latest updates.
Should you have any queries regarding the information stipulated above, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794.