Despite the fact that we hear a lot in the news about failing businesses and many businesses needing support due to the impact of Covid-19, there are many businesses still looking to recruit workers, including skilled migrant workers which is very encouraging.

Employers who wish to sponsor skilled workers under Tier General 2/5 categories (in the case of Tier 2 skills at NQF Level 6 or above), who are already in the UK in a visa category allowing them to switch from within the UK (at the moment this also extends to those who have been here on a visit visa), they can assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) to a potential migrant worker. The worker can then start working for the employer immediately provided they submit an application on line for their Tier 2/5 visa prior to the expiry of their previous visa and provided the job they start is the same as the one listed on the CoS.

This is a significant concession which helps businesses desperate to have workers who are filling a skills shortage in their business to help their business continuity. Prior to this concession being announced, any sponsoring of migrants has been effectively blocked as all the visa application centres in the UK and abroad are closed due to social distancing measures, so migrant workers cannot complete their biometrics and consequently their applications for their visas cannot be processed.

In summary, the concession allows for the latter process to be completed when the centres open, so that migrant workers who have been issued a COS and who have submitted an application on line, to be able to work.

More bite sized updates to follow…

In this period of uncertainty, if you are concerned about your visa status or that of your skilled migrant workers, please get in touch with us urgently.

For an update on all the legal implications relating to Coronavirus please see here.

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

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