Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 Sponsors
Under the current Tier 2 & 5 Sponsors Guidelines, an employee being absent for a consecutive period of 4 weeks requires withdrawal of sponsorship. However, due to COVID-19 the Home Office will not be taking any further action on absence, their need to isolate, or inability to travel to work due to conditions.
With the Tier 4 route, the school usually is required to inform the Home Office where a student is away for more then 60 days. However, due to COVID-19 the Home Office will allow absences beyond 60 days.
Where a COS (Certificate of Sponsorship) and a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance for Studies) has been issued and the application is due to be made. Where Visa Centres are closed, an application can be made and will be considered accordingly, disregarding start term.
As a Tier 4 Applicant, where there is a pending application. A student can continue studies, so long,
o A valid Tier 4 application is made prior to their visa expiry.
o The Sponsor holds a valid Tier 4 license.
o The Course start date is as per the CAS.
Tier 2 & 5 Employees can continue to work from home during COVID-19, in which case the Home Office are not required to be updated.
Tier 2 and 5 Employees are able to start employment whilst a pending application, in the event:
o A valid Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) has been issued.
o The visa application has been made prior to the visa expiry.
o The position is the same as per the COS.
Do note all other reporting duties will continue. Where an application is returned invalid or refused will require termination of employment or studies immediately.
Employers are able to claim up 80% of salaries via the UK Government Scheme, up to £2,500 per month. The reduction is a temporary procedure allowed and the UK Home Office expect salaries to return to normal post Home Office direction (COVID-19).
My visa states ‘No recourse to public funds’, can I claim funds.
Where you are in a situation of destitution and cannot afford payments each month. The Home Office will consider the circumstances and enable to review an application under Universal Credit.
With the application you will be required to provide evidences of your bank statements, earnings as well as expenses you are struggling to keep up with, providing clarity to the Government Office to provide access to funds.