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Tier 2 Visas and Covid-19: The Essential Updates
With Covid-19 having a dramatic and unprecedented effect on our healthcare system, the Tier 2 Visa system is changing: here’s everything you need to know.
Tier 2 Visa Processing
The pandemic has caused mass disruption across the globe. However, essential measures are being taken to protect the health and safety of the human race to combat the spread of Covid-19.
At ID Medical, we have been receiving an increasing number of enquiries surrounding the pandemic and Tier 2 visas. We have therefore set out a guide to answer your Frequently Asked Questions.
1. I am residing in the UK, working for the NHS and my visa is due to expire shortly. What should I do?
If you are a doctor, nurse or paramedic working for the NHS – your visa will be automatically extended by ONE YEAR if it is due to expire before 1st October 2020.
Your family members with a visa due to expire before 1st October 2020 will also have their visa automatically extended.
This extension is free and you will not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.
If you have any questions, please contact the dedicated Covid-19 Immigration Team, set up by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Department to advise them of your situation. You can telephone them on 0800 678 1767 or email them at CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
2. I was in the UK on a visit visa and I needed to return back to my home country to apply for a Tier 2 visa. I cannot leave the UK at this current time, what should I do?
The Home Office has announced that you can switch to a long-term visa until 31th May 2020. You will still need to meet the requisite requirements of the route you are applying for and pay the full UK application fee.
You will be included in this if your visa has automatically been extended to 31st March 2020.
To apply, click here.
3. I have received an NHS job offer, applied for my Tier 2 visa and I have been issued a 30-day vignette. Am I able to enter the UK?
At this present moment in time, the UK Government has not placed a restriction on people entering the UK in relation to Covid-19. However, you should check the rules on travelling within the country you are currently residing in to ensure you are permitted to do so.
4. I have received an NHS job offer, applied for my Tier 2 visa and I have been issued a 30-day vignette. However, I can now no longer travel within the stipulated dates. What should I do?
If you cannot travel within the dates specified on your vignette sticker, you will need to apply for a vignette transfer.
Previously, this could be done by contacting your local Visa Application Centre. However, due to Covid-19 all UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres and Service and Support Centres are temporarily closed due to Covid-19 and it is not possible to book an appointment.
You will therefore unfortunately, need to wait until the centres are open again to extend your entry clearance. If you are one of ID Medical’s doctors or nurses, we can help support you with this.
5. Are Visa Centres open to attend biometric appointments?
As stated above, all UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS) and Service and Support Centres (SSCs) are temporarily closed because of Covid-19.
If you have already made an appointment, you will be contacted to be informed that it has been cancelled. You will be advised when you can book a new appointment.
Your immigration status in the UK will NOT change as a result of you not being able to attend your appointment.
The NHS Needs You
Although there are certain delays on the processing of Tier 2 visa’s, we do expect the UK Government to pave a process for all international doctors and nurses to reach the UK to help support the NHS during this pandemic.
ID Medical has over 1000 permanent doctor vacancies and we can help you secure the perfect NHS post. If you are interested in receiving our support during your relocation journey, please register your details with us here and we will be in touch regarding the next steps.
You should note that this blog post is current at the date of and time of posting. The situation, approach and policy to Covid-19 is subject to change at short notice. ID Medical vow to closely monitor all aspects of UK immigration which may be impacted by Covid-19. So, please do keep updated with further blog posts.
Need help securing an NHS role? Then Sign Up with ID Medical Today!
Are you an international doctor or nurse who is looking to join the NHS and you would like our support with securing NHS interviews? ID Medical works with 90% of NHS Trusts, helping international doctors and nurses secure their dream NHS post.
We can support with:
- Securing an NHS post
- Tier 2 Visa Application
- Securing UK accommodation
- Finding schools for children
- Settling into the UK
- Ongoing pastoral support