Visa Crunch

UK visa restrictions eased for overstayers

If you are planning to go to the United Kingdom or if you are already there as an entrepreneur, health worker or international student then refer to this article for current information on visa and immigration .

In the current coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office has relaxed UK visa restrictions for migrant entrepreneurs, health care workers and overstayers. It is acknowledged that the fines for overstaying a UK visa have been removed, though at the same time at the moment, they can work anywhere in Britain on a visa without any restrictions on the amount of hours they can work.

Even so, British foreign nationals are now unable to apply for a passport if their regional office has been shut. Relaxation of the UK visa restrictions by the Home Office is the first official update since March, when exemptions have been given to people who have overstayed their UK visas, to employees of the NHS abroad, to foreign students and to entrepreneurs.

A Home Office statement said: “There will be no future adverse immigration consequences for people whose visa or leave to remain expired between 24 January and 31 August 2020, and who did not apply to regularise their stay (legally extend it).”

Failure to apply to extend stay in UK

For overseas nationals who leave the United Kingdom in November but are unable to do so due to positive tests on COVID-19 or flight restrictions, they can demand additional time to stay in the United Kingdom. 

For people whose visas expired at any point after 31 October, an application can be made to renew or extend a visa from within the United Kingdom, rather than having to return to their home country as they would have to do in ‘usual circumstances.’

An application can be made to extend or renew a visa from within the UK for individuals whose visa expired after 31 October at any time, rather than having to return to their home country as they would have to do under ‘usual conditions.’ 

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

In March 2019, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa programme, which required a minimum investment of £200,000 to set up a company in the United Kingdom, was replaced by the Innovator visa. However the Entrepreneur Visa is valid for three years, which means that this visa already extends to many foreign entrepreneurs in the UK.

The government has scrapped an Entrepreneur Visa requirement for business owners in the UK to employ at least two individuals for 12 consecutive months. The 12 months will now be made up of several jobs, it is known, and this does not have to be for consecutive months. 

NHS workers

During the coronavirus pandemic, overseas NHS staff will now be allowed to work at any hospital and serve at any level of expertise in any healthcare job. Meanwhile, limitations have also been lifted on the amount of hours they may work or volunteer.

International students

The guidelines of the New Home Office state that foreign students can now start studying in the UK before issuing their Tier 4 visa, given that they have proof of being approved at their place of education on a course of study or that an application has been made to renew their current visa before it expires.

Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa

For overseas nationals who have qualified for a Tier 2 (General) visa or a Tier 5 temporary work visa, permission to begin work has been granted prior to the issuance of a visa. However if their application is rejected, they will have to leave the UK.

British Nationals Overseas

Meanwhile the Home Office has said that an application can be made online for British nationals based overseas seeking to apply for a passport. 

The Home Office reported that ‘people would not be able to apply for a UK passport until the centre is reopened.’

This comes as a good news for temporary residents who are currently residing in the UK as well as immigration aspirants who wish to study or work in the United Kingdom. We hope this article helped you get better insights about living in the UK. 

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