Coronavirus: Advice for employers with staff working in the UK on visas

News article

Advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents where business has been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic

Where a migrant worker’s leave expires between 24 January and 31 May 2020 their visa will be extended to 31 May 2020 if they cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus.

Migrant workers can apply from the UK to switch to a long-term UK visa until 31 May 2020. This includes applications where the applicants would usually need to apply for a visa from their home country.

This includes those whose leave has already been automatically extended to 31 March 2020. They can apply online. The terms of their leave will remain the same until their application is decided.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and furloughed employees

You no longer need to employ at least two people for 12 consecutive months each. The 12 month period you are required to employ someone for can be made up of multiple jobs across different months.

Time, when your employees were furloughed, will not count towards the 12 month period.

If you have not been able to employ staff for 12 months in total by the time your visa expires, you will be allowed to temporarily extend your stay to give you time to meet the requirement.

These arrangements will continue for applications made after 31 May 2020, where the jobs you are relying on were disrupted due to COVID-19.

Global Talent, Start-up or Innovator visas

If an endorsement from an endorsing body has expired because the applicant has not been able to travel to the UK they may still be eligible for a visa. They should make their application as planned and it will be considered as all applications are on a case by case basis.

Further help and advice

If you or your workers have queries related to coronavirus you can contact the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre by:

  • Tel 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
  • Emailing

See Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents.

First published 29 April 2020