The Home Office has finally updated its COVID19 immigration policy on the ‘switching concession’, and despite opposition, the 14-day quarantine rule will be in force from Monday. In this update, we look at these key changes.
Switching concession extended to 31 July 2020
The UK immigration rules only allow certain applicants from apply from within the UK (known as ‘switching’). Those who do not come under this category must apply from outside the UK, which is normally their country of nationality or residence.
However, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to travel restrictions and national lockdowns, it has still not been possible for migrants to leave the UK owing to travel restrictions. As such the Home Office initially introduced a policy to allow migrants who came under this category to switch into a long-term visa category (including where they would normally have to apply from their home country) until provided their visa expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020. This has now been extended to include those who visa expires up to 31 July 2020.
The concession also means those who visa have expired between the 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 will have their visas automatically extended to 31 July 2020.
14-day quarantine rules
Despite concerns, and the possibility to include exemptions for certain countries (called air bridges), the 14-day quarantine rule will come into force for all UK-arrivals from Monday, 8 June 2020.
We recommend revisiting our immigration update article from last week to keep up to date on what to expect.
With visa centres reopening, we expect Tier 2 migrants to start arriving in the UK. Employers should note that these employees will also be subject to the 14-day quarantine rule, and therefore should make adequate provision for their arrival.