Over 7.5 million jobs are at risk in the UK because of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst the UK government has slowly lifted some of the strict lockdown restrictions the global pandemic still poses substantial interruption for many businesses throughout the UK. In particular, we have witnessed an increase in Tier 2 redundancies. Unfortunately, there is limited protection available for Tier 2 workers and if they wish to remain in the UK after the curtailment of their visa they must act immediately as there is a short window in which they can apply for another visa from within the UK.
Increase in Tier 2 redundancies during Coronavirus pandemic
In the last month, we have received an influx of calls from concerned Tier 2 workers who have unfortunately been made redundant due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Initially, Tier 2 Sponsors furloughed its staff under the UK government’s job retention scheme to prevent redundancies. However, there is a large pool of businesses that have struggled more than others resulting in dire consequences. In some scenarios, businesses have filed for administration or have made significant changes to the structure of the business. It is becoming more common for Tier 2 Sponsors to surrender their Tier 2 Sponsor License. A joint survey from the CIPD and People Management magazine predicts 1 in 4 employers expect permanent redundancies from Coronavirus. Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said:
“This survey shows that many businesses are already considering redundancies, rather than utilising the government’s Job Retention Scheme during the coronavirus crisis. Making redundancies should be a last resort once all other options for reducing workforce costs have been taken. Organisations that are most successful in protecting jobs and supporting their employees will also be those that are most resilient and best able to recover once this crisis is past.”
Tier 2 change of employment application after redundancy
Despite the UK government’s intervention in implementing the furlough scheme, Tier 2 redundancies are increasing. If you have been made redundant you must act immediately. Your employer will inform the Home Office of your last day at work. Following this, you will be served a Tier 2 Curtailment Notice and you will be given 60 days to act and sort out your immigration status. However, from our experience, the Tier 2 Curtailment is often served late leaving workers with little time to apply for another visa. Our advice for Tier 2 workers who have been made redundant is to act as soon as you have been notified of the same. You can consider submitting a change of employment application. It is likely you will have one chance to get this right; therefore, you should obtain legal advice from our business immigration team.
In order to submit a change of employment application, you must find a new Tier 2 Sponsor. You will need to be issued a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Your old CoS will no longer have any value. You must also score the appropriate points for your application. A resident labor market test will need to be carried out if your new job is not on the shortage of occupation list.
Switching away from a Tier 2 visa
There is no obligation to stay on the Tier 2 work visa route and you can consider applying for a visa in a different category. However, if you are making an application to switch it must be submitted within the 60-day curtailment period. There are various visas available such as the Tier 4 Student visa, Tier 1 Innovator, Tier 1 Start-up, or family-based visas such as partner visas. However, there are some applications that you cannot switch into from within the UK such as the UK Sole Representative visa.
Will my Tier 2 redundancy trigger the Tier 2 Cooling Off period?
If you decide to apply for another Tier 2 visa by submitting a change of employment application from within the UK the Tier 2 Cooling Off period will not apply. However, if you decide to leave the UK and return on another Tier 2 visa the Tier 2 Cooling Off period will apply unless one of the exemptions applies.
My Tier 2 visa has expired but I cannot go home
If your Tier 2 visa is expiring or is about to expire and your employer will not renew your work visa you must ensure you protect your immigration status. The Home Office has published guidance, advising people whose visa is expiring but they cannot return home due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The latest guidance states that you can extend your visa on a short-term basis until the situation improves until 31 July 2020. It is likely that the UK government may introduce a further extension until 31 October 2020.
Redundancies for EU workers
Whilst EU workers do not fall under the Tier 2 Sponsorship route, they are also likely to be affected by redundancies and they may wish to apply for pre-settled status or settled status. Unlike Tier 2 workers, there is no obligation for EU workers to apply for a visa document as they can enjoy free movement of persons under Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
However, all free movement of persons will end on 31 December 2020. Therefore, it would be sensible for EU workers to regularise their status prior to 1 January 2021.
How our immigration solicitors can help with Tier 2 redundancies
Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in visa applications and prepare applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful visa applications for a range of clients. The key to submitting a successful visa application is being aware of the relevant Immigration Rules and submitting the correct supporting documents. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application.
Using our Immigration Solicitors to respond to Tier 2 redundancies
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to submit a visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications, which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.
The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully respond to Tier 2 redundancies
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements under the Immigration Rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a visa application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.