Breytenbachs have a number of Tier 2 and Tier 5 employees, as well as Tier 4 Students who are concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on their immigration status.
Tier 4 Students are concerned that they may not be able to attend their studies, as they need to serve a period of quarantine, or may not be able to travel due to travel restrictions. Many sponsored employees are not able to work due to the same reasons.
Fortunately, we have some good news.
Covid-19 Home Office Guidance for the Sponsors of Tier 2, 4 and 5 migrants
The Home Office Guidance states that sponsors of Tier 2, 4, and 5 visa holders do not need to report student or employee absences that are related to Covid-19.
Sponsors do not need to withdraw sponsorship if they consider there are exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances may include;
- Students that are not able to attend studies for more than 60 days.
- Employees that are absent from work without pay for four weeks or longer.
The employer will have to decide whether to terminate employment. This same principle will apply for the Tier 4 students. The sponsor will have to decide whether to withdraw a student from sponsorship.
However, the Home Office realises that the Covid-19 situation is leading to exceptional circumstances. The Home Office will not take any compliance action against students who are unable to attend their studies if sponsors continue to sponsor. Neither will they take compliance action against employees, if their sponsors authorise absences for these Covid-19 related reasons.
The current guidance from the Home Office is under review, and they will look at the length of absences, as this might mean that a potential repeat of studies might become necessary.
Help from Breytenbachs during Covid-19 pandemic
Please be assured that Breytenbachs are doing all we can to assist you during this difficult time. We do all we can to disseminate information from the Government and our professional bodies as to how the Covid-19 pandemic will affect immigration application processes and timelines.
We understand that many persons who might be about to apply or who have applied it would be a concern as to how travel bans and the like will affect them. We will deal with each case as it comes. To not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss your matters and make your plans for when this pandemic has run its course.
Please feel free to contact us for any further queries.
Please also see the message from our director on the Covid-19 pandemic.