23 Sep Coronavirus (COVID-19) Concessions
On 11 September 2021, the Home Office published a new Statement of Changes of the Immigration Rules, and some COVID-19 concessions are also being incorporated into the new version.
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Concession
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants whose businesses have been negatively impacted by the pandemic will be able to extend their visa if they had created the equivalent of two full-time jobs for settled workers at the time of application, but without having to demonstrate that the jobs had existed for a minimum period of 12 months. Please note that time spent by employees on furlough does count towards the job creation requirement.
In addition, Tier 1 (Ent) migrants are now allowed to combine multiple jobs in order to meet the job creation requirement.
Moreover, applicants who extended their Tier 1 (Ent) visa by relying on the COVID-19 concession will have to provide evidence that they have either created four jobs that each lasted for 12 months, or two jobs that have lasted for 24 months, when they apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) under Tier 1 (Ent) scheme.
EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Concession
Under the provisions of the previous Appendix EU, those EU citizens with Pre-Settled status who have had a single period of absence of more than 6 months in any 12-month period, would have lost the right to apply for Settled status if they had not returned to the UK prior to 31 December 2021. Even if they had returned to the UK before this cut-off date, their continuous qualifying period of five years would have been broken by the absence, therefore, having to re-start a new qualifying period of five years in order to be eligible for Settled status.
Under the new COVID-19 concession, the continuous residence is not deemed to be broken as a result of excessive absences from the UK due to the pandemic. However, from 6 October 2021, this concession will cease to operate.
Skilled Worker route
Under COVID-19 concession, those, who made a Skilled Worker or Tier 2 General applications between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2021, were allowed to start working for their sponsor while waiting for a decision. This is now written in the Rules. Another change is being made to the settlement rules to allow those who successfully applied in the UK during this period to include the time they were waiting for a decision towards the five years required for settlement as a Skilled Worker.
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