Coronavirus update (12 May 2020)
Update following call with the Home Office
Earlier today, ILPA participated in a call with the Home Office and the Law Society giving a general update on coronavirus. Members are reminded that this is an update for ILPA members only and we ask that information we disseminate to ILPA members is not shared on social media until matters have been formally confirmed by the Home Office as until that point nothing is certain. We are sharing this information because we want to keep members informed of the Home Office’s activity where we can. A few key points:
- The Home Office is currently considering its plans for what to do after 31 May when the current extension and concession period runs out. We hope they may update us on this next week.
- We raised issues about whether the NHS worker extension applies to family members of British NHS workers as well as various issues relating to right to work checks. We await a formal response.
- The Home Office is looking into re-using biometrics in some applications as previously suggested by ILPA. The full policy is still being decided.
- The Home Office is gradually looking at how to re-open VACs overseas, but this will depend very much on each country’s policy in relation to coronavirus. They are also looking at how to re-open Sopra Steria core sites.
Update to ILPA recommendations
We have updated our recommendations to the Home Office on handling the coronavirus pandemic. These were initially sent on 21 March 2020. The updated list makes clear to what extent our recommendations have been implemented and which issues remain outstanding.
As always, we kindly ask that before you raise any issues with us that you have consulted the document to ensure it is not an issue we have already raised and that you have also checked that there has not been discussion on this point in the Google group. If you have not joined the Google group, you can join here. You will need a Google account to join. You can use your work email to create a Google account following these instructions. If you join using a gmail account, please provide details in your message so we can verify your ILPA membership (name, organisation name, email address).
English language and Life in the UK tests
The Home Office has confirmed to us in writing that immigration and nationality applications can be submitted without the English language test or Life in the UK test. The individual will still need to pass the test before the application can be granted. However, we still await a formal policy announcement on this.
The Home Office has confirmed that a sponsor is not required to submit a change of employment application where they are reducing the salary of a high earner to below £159,600 if the reduction is due to Covid-19 and is in line with the concession provided in the Home Office guidance i.e. it is temporary and no less than 80%/£2,500 per month (whichever is lower).
- Document Date
- Tuesday May 12, 2020