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.
Current COVID-19 considerations for travelling to and from England03 August 2021
Significant changes to the COVID-19 requirements for entry to England were made with effect from 19 July 2021.
Home Office extends adjusted right to work checks to 31 August 202118 June 2021
The Home Office has confirmed to the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association that adjusted right to work checks will remain in place until at least 31 August 2021. The development comes at the eleventh hour, as full right to work checks were set to resume from 21 June 2021.
Updated COVID-19 absences policy enables more people to qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme14 June 2021
The Home Office has significantly expanded the policy to allow continuity of residence in the UK to be preserved in certain circumstances where an EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) applicant has been absent from the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Traffic light system comes into effect for travel to England19 May 2021
On 17 May 2021 a set of traffic light ratings was put in place for determining pre-and post-arrival COVID-19 measures for travelling to England.
COVID-19 adjusted right to work checks extended to 20 June 202112 May 2021
The Home Office has today confirmed that the COVID-19 adjusted right to work check process will remain in place until 20 June 2021, instead of 16 May 2021 as previously announced.
Home Office announces end to COVID-19 adjusted right to work checks22 April 2021
The Home Office confirmed on 20 April 2021 that the COVID-19 adjusted right to work check process will only remain in place until 16 May 2021. Although employers will need to undertake fully compliant right to work checks from 17 May 2021, they will not have to carry out retrospective checks where the adjusted process has been used.
A guide to the immigration implications of COVID-19 for UK employers23 December 2020
This document 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.
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 pandemic02 November 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has significant and wide-ranging economic as well as public health impacts. Businesses are feeling the 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 due to the pandemic, taking into account Home Office guidance as this is updated.