Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 04 May 2020)

NHS workers

As we’ve established, most people who need their leave extended must contact the coronavirus helpline to ask for the extension. Some NHS workers and their families, however, are to get a one-year extension “automatically”.

A letter to the Home Affairs Committee on the same date confirmed that the extensions are available to anyone on the list of professions covered — whatever that list may be — who is subject to immigration control, “not just sponsored migrant workers on a Tier 2 (General) or Tier 5 visa”.

Immigration tribunal hearings

HM Courts and Tribunals Service is now issuing a weekly operational update. There are specific status reports for First-tier and Upper Tribunal immigration and asylum cases. They provide a useful summary of the state of play (as of the week commencing 4 May):

The [First-tier] tribunal has suspended face to face hearings (other than in exceptional circumstances) until further notice. A notice containing instructions on the next steps in your case will be sent to you. We are working through the listed cases in priority and date order and you should wait until we contact you. Please do not call us unless your enquiry is urgent. Bail applications will be prioritised and where a hearing is required, will be listed to take place by telephone or video. Users are advised to contact the relevant hearing centre on the email addresses until further notice.

Sir Ernest Ryder, the Senior President of Tribunals, has written to his judges saying that “The normal arrangement in all tribunals is now remote hearings and decision making online or by telephone conferencing, video or Skype”. Some tribunal hearing centres will remain open, but only for “hearings that cannot be heard by video or telephone and which cannot be delayed”.




Posted on May 03, 2020.

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