The coronavirus pandemic has significantly interrupted the way in which businesses and people operate across the world. From a UK immigration perspective, the suspension of visa operations has thrown many people and their families into a state of limbo, affecting the businesses employing them, the educational providers at which they study or the landlords from whom they rent properties.
The Home Office and its ministers have several times stated that a pragmatic approach will be taken to Covid-19 related issues around visa expiry and travel restrictions, sponsor compliance, and right to work and right to rent checks during this pandemic.
Kevin Foster MP, Minster for Future Borders and Immigration, affirmed this position in Parliament on Monday 23 March 2020:
“We are very clear that no one will have a negative outcome through the immigration system due to a circumstance that was beyond their control…We are looking at further measures…to ensure that no one is penalised because they followed the advice and did what they could to protect our NHS and save lives.”
Since February, the Home Office has published, amended and replaced several guidance documents while it struggles to address the many scenarios and issues which have arisen over the last few weeks. For the latest Home Office guidance, click here.
At Penningtons Manches Cooper, the immigration team has been closely following developments and advising Government on shaping policy. We provide here a series of briefings to help individuals, businesses, education providers and landlords navigate this period of uncertainty.