As the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues, more people are wondering how this on-going situation will impact their lives in both the short-term and long-term. We have recently posted about the impact on Tier 4 students, migrants in the UK whose leave is due to expire, settlement and citizenship applications, entry clearance applications and appeal hearings at the First-Tier Tribunal (IAC). However, there is another group of people who could be significantly impacted are sponsored employers of migrant workers. It is important that Tier 2 sponsors are aware of their on-going duties and the consequences of not following the latest Home Office guidance. Our business immigration solicitors in London are specialists in Points Based System and Appendix W applications and are well-informed and up to date with all of the COVID-19 Government announcements. Therefore, if you have a query regarding a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application or compliance duties during this confusing time, then please contact our team to arrange a telephone or Skype consultation with us.
What is the latest Home Office advice for Tier 2 Employers given the Coronavirus situation?
As is the advice for academic institutions sponsoring international students, Tier 2 sponsored employers do not need to report any absences of their migrant workers to the Home Office if that worker is unable to attend work due to the Coronavirus. Under normal circumstances, a Tier 2 employer should withdraw its sponsorship of a migrant worker if they are absent from work without pay for 4 weeks or more (although some exceptions apply). Again, however, if these absences are due to COVID-19 then employers do not need to take action against these workers.
Furthermore, the current situation in the UK and Government advice means that most sponsored workers are now working from home (if they are not considered to be a ‘key worker’, i.e. in the NHS) and these change in working conditions also do not need to be reported to the Home Office. Other changes not in relation to COVID-19 however, will still need to be reported to the Home Office as usual.
It is important that both Tier 2 employers and Tier 2 workers keep a paper or digital record of any absences relating to Coronavirus as this may come in useful for any extension or settlement applications.
What are my duties as a Tier 2 Employer?
It is important that Tier 2 employers are aware of their on-going duties as a Tier 2 Sponsor, as failure to keep up with Home Office compliance can lead to hefty fines and the suspension or revocation of the sponsor licence. Please see below some of the duties of a Tier 2 Sponsor (please note this is a non-exhaustive list):
- Employers must carry out right to work checks by viewing original passports and BRPs and keeping up to date copies on file. It is important that employers are aware of the visa expiry dates;
- Employers must ensure all migrant worker contact details are kept up to date;
- Employers should monitor all migrant workers holiday, sickness and absences;
- Employers should have a robust HR system in place; and
- Employers must also report any significant changes to the business such as if the business stops trading, nature of the business, involved in a merger or takeover.
Tier 2 employers should expect to receive a compliance audit from the Home Office at some stage of having or applying for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. Employers should be aware that these visits can be unannounced, therefore they should always ensure they are compliant with the Home Office guidance for Sponsors at all times.
Can I still see an Immigration Lawyer for Tier 2 Sponsorship enquires given the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic?
Yes. We are a technologically advanced law firm and are well equipped for the current situation and have the resources and infrastructure to support you with any UK immigration issue.
The well-being of our team and our clients is our priority. We are following the advice to maintain social distancing, therefore we will hold all meetings with clients via video conferencing or via our telephone conferencing facilities for the foreseeable future.
Please contact our Immigration Team to arrange a consultation with us so we can assess your case in more detail and give you advice specific to your individual circumstances.
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London for advice regarding UK Visas and Immigration during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative in order to advise on a UK Visa and Immigration application.
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, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful applications using our Immigration Solicitors in London during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic
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 immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department.
We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant 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 speak with one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.