Exceptional Assurance (“EA”)
The Home Office have updated it’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) policy which now states individuals are expected to take ‘all reasonable steps’ to leave the UK. However, for those who ‘intend’ to leave the UK to return to a country on the red or amber list but are not able to and their visa expires by 30 September 2021, are able to request extra time to remain in the UK through an EA request.
Furthermore, individuals from a green list country can request EA where for example, the border is closed or quarantine facilities are over-subscribed – although not specifically stated, one would assume Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand.
During the period EA is under consideration an applicant can continue to remain in the UK as per the conditions of their most recent visa. It also enables an individual granted EA to make an application in another immigration category from within the UK, so long as he or she otherwise meets the requirements of the relevant rule, save for having to apply for entry clearance.
Entry outside 30- and 90-day vignette
Individuals who enter the UK after the 30 or 90 period stated on their vignette due to COVID-19 can remain in the UK and vary their conditions by contacting the Home Office – an updated residence permit will then be issued.
Right to work checks for EEA nationals
Following the 30 June 2021 deadline for EEA nationals to apply for pre-settled or settled status through the EUSS scheme, employers can longer rely on EU passports or ID cards as proof of evidence to work - except from Irish nationals. Employers must now conduct an online right to work check.
Fines of up to £20,000 can be imposed where the checks have not been done.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur
The Home Office continues to allow Tier 1 Entrepreneurs from not having to employ 2 people for 12 consecutive months and can be from multiple jobs, but the 12-month period must be equivalent to 2 full time ones.
Jobs which have been furloughed can count toward the 12-month period, so long as at least 80% of the salary was paid.
For those unable to fulfil the requirement of employing two people for 12 months, an extension of leave can still be made.
For Start-Ups impacted by Coronavirus a request for an additional 12 months to the 2-year visa can be made, but an application will need to provide an endorsement letter from their endorsing body to show they have assessed the business plan taking into how COVID-19 has affected the business and reasonable progress has been made.
For further advice and assistance in relation to the issues above or whether any other UK immigration related matter please contact us on by completing our online form, sending an email to email@example.com or telephoning us on 020 7038 3980 and of our immigration lawyers will respond to you.