Visa information for staff during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic

Updated on 12 January 2021

Guidance for International staff members sponsored through Skilled Worker, Tier 2 or international visitors sponsored through Tier 5

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Getting information about your immigration statusĀ if you are sponsored to work in the UK and your visa is due to end

For staff immigration matters, please contact your School/Directorate HR team who may be able to help you.

There is a dedicated Home Office Webpage proving guidance on immigration for individuals affected by travel restrictions.

The Home Office has also set up a coronavirus Immigration Helpline:

Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). 
All calls are free of charge.

If you are unable to work due to illness and are a Tier 2, or Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa holder

If you are unable to attend your work due to self-isolation, you are now working from home or you are unable to travel due to travel restrictions caused by coronavirus, you should notify your department as soon as possible.

If at any point your contact details, mobile phone number or home address details change, you should also ensure that you notify the University immediately.

The Home Office recognises the current situation is exceptional and will not take any compliance action against employees who are unable to attend their work due to the coronavirus outbreak, or against sponsors who authorise absences and continue to sponsor employees despite absences for this reason.

It is important that you keep in regular weekly contact with your departmental key contact whilst based off-campus to ensure that UKVI sponsor requirements are met during this time.

The Home Office will keep this under review. However any staff member considering making an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the future should keep a record of their absence as this may be required at a later date.

International staff members sponsored through Tier 2 or international visitors sponsored through Tier 5

Impact on your sponsorship status when working remotely during the coronavirus pandemicĀ 

Working remotely during lockdown will not impact on your sponsorship status. The Home Office have confirmed that they recognise the current situation is exceptional and that they will not take any action as a result of remote working.

As with any member of staff you are asked to continue to keep in regular contact with your department and you need to let them know if you are unwell or plan to take annual leave.

You also need to let the University know if your contact details change so that we are able to stay in touch. This will also ensure that you meet your sponsorship responsibilities.

Until recently we carried out annual checks for sponsored staff where you were asked to bring your passport and visa into the HR Department and you were also asked to confirm your current contact details. We have reviewed these arrangements and these will no longer be required in the future. In place of the checks we will be emailing you asking you to confirm that your contact details are up to date.

If you do have any questions about your sponsorship the HR team would be happy to assist you.


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Human Resources and Organisational Development

Guide category Staff support