As the number of Coronavirus cases continues to rise, the Government has taken the decision to put the country in a third national lockdown. Therefore, in light of Boris Johnson’s recent announcement to put England in another national lockdown from 5 January 2021, UKVI has updated its Covid-19 guidance for skilled workers and student sponsors. Our business immigration solicitors in London continue to assist sponsors and migrants with their UKVI matters throughout the pandemic. We are available to make the process as streamlined as possible considering the current global circumstances. Therefore, please contact our team to arrange a consultation with our specialist solicitors in order to discuss your business immigration matter in more detail.
Updated Covid-19 guidance for skilled worker sponsors
There are temporary changes to the things that sponsors need to report to the Home Office. If an employee is working from home due to Covid-19 then this does not need to be reported to the Home Office. The Home Office has also stated that they will not take enforcement action against employers who continue to sponsor migrant workers who are absent as a result of Covid-19; including travel restrictions or having to self-isolate. Sponsors therefore do not need to withdraw their sponsorship of a migrant worker if, due to Covid-19, that migrant worker is “absent from work without pay for more than 4 weeks”. Salaries may also be reduced in line with Government policy and job support schemes, however the migrant worker’s pay must return to normal once the applicable schemes have ended.
Skilled worker applicants who have been issued a Certificate of Sponsorship (“Cos”) will still be able to apply for the skilled worker visa. This includes if the start date has changed due to Covid-19 or in some circumstances if the CoS has become invalid due to the applicant having delayed the application due to Covid-19. Furthermore, applicants applying to one of the sponsored work categories may be permitted to begin their employment prior to a decision being made on their application in the following circumstances:
- The CoS has been assigned and either they are applying under the Health and Care visa or their CoS was assigned before 1 January 2021;
- The migrant submitted their application before their current visa expired;
- The role they are employed in is the same as the one on their CoS.
The sponsor’s reporting responsibilities start from the date that the CoS is issued and not from the date the migrant’s visa application is granted. The employment must also be terminated if the Home Office refuses the visa application.
Updated Covid-19 guidance for student sponsors
Similarly, education providers that hold a valid sponsor licence in order for international students to study at that institution will also not face enforcement action if the student is absent from their studies as a result of Covid-19. Sponsorship will not need to be withdrawn if the student is unable to attend for more than 60 days.
International students can still apply for a student visa if they have been issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (“CAS”) by the education provider and the start date of the course has changed. It some circumstances the Home Office may also still grant the student visa if the CAS has become invalid due to delays resulting from Covid-19.
Policy guidance states that UKVI will keep these temporary concessions under review and will continue to update the guidance as and when it needs to in line with the changing rules and developments.
Can I still see an immigration lawyer given the 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 Immigration advice during the 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 UK visa applications using our Immigration Solicitors in London during Covid-19
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.