Home office has given the concession in the present unprecedented times that applicants can apply to switch their visa from within the UK to a long term visa and it includes applications where they are usually required to apply as entry clearance from home country.
Home office has further said that people can make new application within the UK for example to start a new job or course of study, and they are unable to leave the UK to make an entry clearance application from overseas. This includes applications to switch into a different work route or to change jobs in the same route using a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
The conditions for these concessions are to meet the requirement of the route applying for and to pay the application fees.
Concessions for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa: The applicants are no longer needed to employ at least 2 people for consecutive 12 months and this can be made up of multiple jobs across different months. The time of employees being furloughed will not count towards the 12 months period. If applicant has not been able to employ staff for 12 months by the time visa expires, one can extend they will be allowed to temporarily extend their stay to give them time to meet the requirement.
Concessions for Tier 4 visa: The applicant can start the course or studies before their visa application has been decided if:
- Applicant sponsor is a Tier 4 sponsor
- Applicant has been given a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS)
- Applicant has submitted in time application for extension
Concession for Tier 2 and Tier 5: The applicants can start work before the decision on their application if:
- Applicant has been assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
- Applicant has filed in time application of extension
Home office concessions on Leave to Enter or Leave to Remain on the basis of Family and Private Life:
Applicants in the UK as visitor or with leave up to 6 months can switch into a family and private life route provided they meet the requirements of immigration rules.
If temporary visa holders are not able to travel back to the UK due to travel restrictions of COVID-19 and their leave expires then a short break in continuous residence will be overlooked and they will be expected to make your next application as soon as possible.
Changes to the minimum income and adequate maintenance requirement
If the applicants experienced a loss of income due to coronavirus home office will consider employment income for the period immediately before the loss of income due to coronavirus, provided the requirement was met for at least 6 months up to March 2020.
If the applicants or sponsors salary has reduced because being furloughed, home office will take account of their income as though earning 100% of your salary.
If applicants or sponsors have loss of income as self-employed then a loss of annual income due to coronavirus between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will generally be disregarded
Changes to the English language requirement
If applicants have to meet the English language test requirement as part of their application, they can apply for an exemption if the test centre was closed or they couldn’t travel to it due to coronavirus when they applied.
For further guidance and to discuss your individual immigration case please contact our specialised immigration solicitors today. We fully understand the severity of present unprecedented COVID -19 circumstance in context of your immigration issues. We would endeavour to give you the most affordable and tailored advice best suited to your personal and immigration situation.
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Our team will undertake a formal review of your case documents and advise you on the suggested next steps. Our expertise in this area means that care and consideration will be used when reviewing your file. We understand that matters can be time sensitive and you will receive our advice promptly following our instructions.
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