The U.K. Home Office continues to recognise that these are unprecedented times and has provided a further blanket extension to visa nationals whose visas have or are due to expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020. Such visas can be extended up until 31 July 2020, provided that the visa national is unable to leave the U.K. due to travel restrictions or is in self-isolation due to COVID-19.
The U.K. Home Office continues to recognise that these are unprecedented times and has provided a further blanket extension to visa nationals whose visas have or are due to expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 20201. Such visas can be extended up until 31 July 2020, provided that the visa national is unable to leave the U.K. due to travel restrictions or is in self-isolation due to COVID-19.1 (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-182, 17 April 2020.)
Employers and migrants will benefit from this blanket extension of visas up to 31 July 2020, removing worries about potential “overstaying” and breach of immigration restrictions.
Individuals who obtain such an extension will not be considered as “over-stayers” during this period and this will not negatively impact their immigration status or future immigration applications. If individuals are intending to apply to extend their stay in the U.K. before 31 July 2020, they should continue to do so.
Individuals should apply online for the blanket extension, unless they previously applied for and obtained an extension up until 31 May 2020. Individuals who already obtained an extension up until 31 May 2020, will automatically have their visas extended to 31 July 2020.
The Home Office has issued and implemented temporary immigration measures to help migrants and businesses navigate through the COVID-19 crisis. The full scale of the impact of these measures is yet to be seen, however we at KPMG LLP (U.K.) have already seen worldwide pauses and delays to all U.K. visa application processing and subsequent hiring of migrant staff.
Note also, that the COVID-19 crisis has occurred at a time when the Home Office is preparing for a new immigration system, due to be implemented on 1 January 2021, as the U.K. formally ends its Brexit transition period. We have recently issued a GMS Flash Alert on the government’s latest update in relation to this system (for prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-170, 14 April 2020).
1 For additional information, see the guidance published on 29 May 2020 on the government website.
The KPMG Legal Services – Immigration Team has a wealth of experience in transactional, advisory, and compliance assurance services. We will be able to advise your business in relation to practical considerations in light of the above changes, as well as what this means for your long-term recruitment and compliance strategies.
Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the United Kingdom.
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