Employment and Immigration Law Update - COVID-19 concessions for family visas


25 June 2020

Whilst many couples have been disappointed to have their weddings and civil partnerships delayed due to COVID-19, this has been a particular cause of concern for migrants here on fiancé visas, which require them to get married within six months of entering the UK.

The Home Office has now confirmed that if your ceremony has been delayed due to coronavirus, you can apply for a six month visa extension to allow you to reschedule.

The Home Office has also now confirmed that migrants on spouse/partner visas who have to meet a minimum income requirement should not be disadvantaged by loss of income due to COVID-19. Updated guidance regarding visas on the basis of family or private life says:

“If you have experienced a loss of income due to coronavirus, we will consider employment income for the period immediately before the loss of income due to coronavirus, provided the requirement was met for at least 6 months up to March 2020.

If your salary has reduced because you’re furloughed, we will take account of your income as though you’re earning 100% of your salary.

If you’re self-employed, a loss of annual income due to coronavirus between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will generally be disregarded, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications.”

Whilst this is good news and finally provides some reassurance, it is concerning that they assume self-employed people’s income is going to miraculously recover from 1 August, whilst for employees the furlough scheme is operating until October.

This article is from the June 2020 issue of Employment and Immigration Law Update, our monthly newsletter for HR professionals. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website. For further information please contact Clare Hedges or another member of Birketts' Immigration Team.

The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at June 2020.

Author

Clare Hedges

Senior Associate - Head of Immigration

+44 (0)1223 326605

+44 (0)7581 150137