COVID19 – Permits Foundation makes recommendations to UK Home Office in support of Tier 2 workers and their families05 May 2020
In recent days the Home Office has made welcome announcements, responding to the difficult situation faced by health and care workers and their dependants in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many Tier 2 workers and family members are not covered. In a letter to the Home Secretary, the Foundation makes the following two practical recommendations so that these valued employees and their family members can be provided with peace of mind:
- Provide commitment to family members of Tier 2 workers, that they have a route to settlement where the Tier 2 worker can no longer work or has sadly died. We suggest that this could be achieved fairly simply by extension of the bereaved partner rules to include partners of Tier 2 workers. This would remove the risk of widowed partners and children potentially being removed after losing their loved ones.
- Ensure that foreign workers and their family members can have their visas automatically extended to end September 2020 if they would otherwise have expired before that date. We request that all Tier 2 workers and their dependants be covered and that this is achieved by statutory instrument to provide a clear legal basis. We request that measures be put in place for employees to be able to provide evidence that they have received this extension. This is needed not only by those whose visas are extended, but by employers. We recommend a review of the guidance ahead of September to determine if any further extension is necessary.
Tier 2 workers and their dependants cover a range of valued professions, working to protect the UK’s health and economy in these extremely difficult times. In order to provide longer term assurance, Permits Foundation looks to the Home Office to take forward our recommendations.