During the pandemic the Home Office enabled visa holders with an extended leave till the 31st of May 2020. The Home Office will now require individuals and families to make preparation on extending your leave in the United Kingdom, or to decide to the leave the UK.
Do note these are individuals that had informed the UKVI via the Home Office Online Form.
As a migrant resident in the UK it is imperative that preparations are now made. Do note Visa Centres aim to re-open in the United Kingdom, we are expecting the Home Office to publish further information however, it is anticipated to open by the end of June 2020.
You need to ensure a visa application is made prior to the 31st of May 2020, allowing your leave to be extended till a decision is received. This will enable you to stay in the UK legally.
My country is still under lockdown, what shall I do?
It is important for you to prepare and extend your leave in the UK. We would recommend speaking to one of our Immigration Lawyers for more information.
I am feeling unsafe to return back to my home country, and I find it unsafe to travel, how shall I prepare?
Again, it is important to make an application to extend your leave in the UK. However, it is advised you speaking to your Embassy in the UK to provide guidelines on travel.
At ICS Legal, we feel it is imperative you take tentative measures within a timeline and provide sufficient information to review based on discretionary circumstances.
My business has Tier 2 Visa holders, how do we prepare?
As a business owner your employees are entitled to receive £2,500 per month or up to 80% of salaries. The Government has extended the Furlough Scheme till October 2020.
The Home Office is yet to publish any guidelines on businesses facing issues, however an employee can maintain to stay home during the pandemic till it is safe to return to work. The business is not required to inform the Home Office of absences due to the pandemic.
In terms of preparation, you can take the following:
• The Government Grants for Small businesses are still open, providing up to £10,000 - £25,000 of funding.
• The Furlough Scheme where up £2,500 can be claimed on earnings for employees.
• Government Backed Loans, where businesses receive up to 75% of turnover, up to £50,000. Do note further finances are available. Please refer to the Gov.uk website for more information.
Safe to return:
• As an employer you are required to take steps to ensure employees can return to work safely, this ensures your business operation can return back to normal and allow a more consistent transition.
• Cleanliness is key to allow safety, as a business you should take steps for a safer environment.
• Psychological support, some individuals may have medical issues and can become anxious when returning to work. As an employer you can take medical advice from Government Health Services on how to prepare for such eventualities.
Government Lockdown Easing Provision:
To note the Government in the United Kingdom has now announced provisions to ease the lockdown, this means the public can now step outdoors to exercise regularly, travel to work where required and felt safe.
The Information for Frontline workers in the NHS, the Home Office has not changed its position on extending leave. This will continue, on this note all NHS staff should continue to submit an application to the COVID-19 team.