27 Mar Tier 2 sponsors and concessions arrangements
On 24 March 2020, the Home Office updated its guidance for UK visa applicants and sponsors to address the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors:
Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors are normally required to notify the Home Office of changes in their sponsored workers’ circumstances. However, following the UK government’s advice, most organisations request their employees to work from home rather than normal workplace. Due to this unprecedented situation, Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors do not need to report the changes of their workplace to the Home Office.
In addition, sponsors do not need to report employees’ absences in relation to coronavirus if they need to serve a period of quarantine or they are unable to travel due to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Moreover, sponsors do not need to withdraw sponsorship if an employee were to be absent from work without pay for four weeks.
Switching to a long-term UK visa
Migrants who usually are required to apply for an entry clearance will be able to apply from the UK to switch to a long-term visa until 31 May 2020. For example, if a migrant is holding a Tier 5 (YMS) visa, and is planning to return to his/her nationality country to apply for a Tier 2 General entry clearance, he/she will be able to switch from the Tier 5 (YMS) visa to the Tier 2 General visa in the UK prior to 31 May 2020. However, the applicant will need to meet the same visa requirements and pay the relevant UKVI application fees. This includes those whose leave has already been automatically extended to 31 March 2020.
UK visa extensions:
For those migrants who are in the UK and their visa expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020, their leave will be extended to 31 May 2020 if they cannot leave the UK due to travel restrictions or self-isolation in relation to COVID-19 pandemic.
However, migrants must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) at [email protected] or call 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) to update their records if their visa is expiring.
Applicants should provide their:
- Full name (including any middle names)
- Date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
- Previous visa reference number
- Why they can’t return to their home country, for example, the border has closed.
Meanwhile, individuals will not be regarded as an overstayer or be subject to enforcement action if they are unable to attend a biometric appointment due to Covid-19 or if there are delays in processing their application.
Contact Our Immigration Team
For expert advice regarding any aspect of the UK visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.