Around the world, COVID-19 has resulted in wide-spread disruption, including office closures, travel bans, cancelled flights and quarantines. This has many serious knock- on effects to immigration compliance and visas. We have prepared our ‘Guide to the immigration implications of COVID-19 for UK employers’ to cover the most common questions and things you should be considering as an employer and sponsor
Employers and sponsors are dealing with the following issues:
- Conducting right to work checks while onboarding new hires remotely
- Ensuring sponsorship duties continue to be met with sponsored workers who may have delays/changes to work start dates or locations due to travel restrictions, or salaries needing to be cut or employees on unpaid leave
- Managing ongoing recruitment to ensure business continuity – e.g. in some cases non EEA-nationals can still be hired and start working remotely overseas pending a decision on their visa application and travel to the UK
- Managing changes to the process for new visa applications and those already in progress
- Dealing with issues where people are stuck in the UK, or stranded outside the UK trying to come back
For further information on these issues, please see the guide and insights below.
The situation is continuing to evolve and we are monitoring developments closely whilst anticipating Home Office guidance and changes before they are announced. We will be updating our resources as necessary in light of this.
The UK Government Website for updates is GOV.UK - Coronavirus (COVID-19): immigration guidance
Please liaise with your Lewis Silkin immigration specialist if you have specific queries or concerns related to coronavirus that we can assist with.
Home Office publishes COVID-19 minimum income policy for family visa route applicants21 July 2020
On 17 July 2020 the Home Office updated its policy guidance to confirm a surprisingly limited concession to the usual minimum income requirements that most applicants for partner and child visas must meet.
A guide to the immigration implications of COVID-19 for UK employers07 July 2020
This article sets out the main immigration law issues and Home Office guidance that you need to be aware of so you can consider the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for your business. The Home Office is making policy announcements and issuing revised guidance regularly and we will keep you updated as this is published.
UK immigration and COVID-19 beyond the lockdown16 June 2020
UK visa processing is slowly starting to resume this month, but it is not yet business as usual. There are still many things that employers and applicants need to monitor, and potential pitfalls to avoid.
Pandemic right to work check procedures27 May 2020
Under the Home Office’s current guidance for right to work checks (“RTW”), it is possible to conduct a fully compliant initial or follow-up RTW without seeing the individual face-to-face. Where this is not possible during the COVID-19, the Home Office has instituted a temporary adjusted procedure, which must be backed up by retrospective checks in due course. We have summarised the options and procedures below, as well as highlighting some general points to be aware of during the pandemic.
Government announces 14-day quarantine plan for arrivals to the UK11 May 2020
On 11 May the Government published its COVID-19 recovery strategy for the UK.
The impact of coronavirus on workforces and global mobility: Naomi Hanrahan-Soar and Despina Stoimenidi comment for HR Magazine05 May 2020
The impact of COVID-19 has reached almost all aspects of normal everyday life. One of the first areas to become affected was global mobility.
A briefing note on the immigration implications for Tier 2 workers of changes to salary, the Government’s Furlough Scheme and redundancy amid the COVID-19 pandemic15 April 2020
The spread of COVID-19 pandemic around the globe is having significant and wide-ranging economic as well as public health impacts. Businesses are already feeling the adverse side-effects of profoundly changed trading circumstances. This note will take you through the immigration implications of a number of actions you may be forced to take to protect your business over the coming months, taking into account Home Office guidance as this is updated.
COVID-19 immigration implications for the UK marketing sector: much ado about… a lot03 April 2020
One week into the UK’s nationwide lockdown, the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to be felt in many major industries, the advertising and marketing sector being no exception. From marketing companies’ ongoing duties as sponsors of foreign migrants to considerations for freelancers, models and influencers, it is vital that immigration issues do not fall to the wayside amidst commercial matters which may feel more pressing.