Are you a temporary migrant living in the UK? Have you been furloughed or lost your employment because of the Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic?
by Shazia Akhtar, Partner, and Head of Immigration
The Home office guidance, issued on 24th April 2020, confirms that individuals who have limited leave to remain in the UK and no recourse to public funds do have support available to them. Access to public funds If you are currently residing in the UK on a Family or Private Life basis, you can make an application to access public funds if any of the following applies:
- You’re destitute or at risk of destitution
- Your child’s welfare is at risk due to low income
- You’re in other exceptional financial circumstances Medical Treatment relating to Coronavirus (COVID 19)
- Testing and treatment for coronavirus is free of charge even if your result is negative
- No checks are undertaken to confirm an individual’s immigration status when seeking a test or treatment for coronavirus
- If you have a medical condition that makes you vulnerable to coronavirus, then you can get help with deliveries of medication and food, etc.
If you are employed or self-employed in the UK You may be able to apply to access:
- Coronavirus Retention Scheme provided to your employer
- Statutory sick pay
- Contributory Employment and Support Allowance, subject to if you have made sufficient national insurance contributions
- You can apply for a grant through the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme if you are registered as self-employed If you are studying in the UK
- If you are unable to attend your place of study due to coronavirus then your Sponsor should not report you in these circumstances
- You can contact your consulate or embassy for support If you are unable to pay rent or mortgage payments
- Landlords must give tenants 3 months’ notice of evictions
- From 27th March 2020, all evictions and possession proceedings have been suspended for 90 days
Mortgage lenders will be able to offer repayment holidays of 3 months In addition to the above, Local Authority Social Services may be able to provide further support if you or a family member have specific care needs.
At Deo Volente Solicitors, we understand that individuals may face financial difficulties arising from these unprecedented times. We are offering telephone consultations to address any queries that you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 01234 350244 and speak to one of our team members within the immigration department.
Have your financial circumstances changed since your last grant of leave? Was your leave granted on the basis of your family or private life?
by Shazia Akhtar, Partner, and Head of Immigration Services
During these unprecedented times, we understand that people are struggling to make ends meet because of illness, self-isolation, school, or work closures. If you are currently in the UK on the basis of your family or private life, we can make an application for a change of conditions of leave. This will allow access to public funds because your circumstances have changed:
You can apply if:
- your financial circumstances have changed since being given permission to stay in the UK and you are no longer able to provide food or housing for yourself or your family
- your child is at risk because of your very low income
- you had financial problems when you first applied but you did not provide evidence of this and you now want to provide this evidence
If your application is successful the conditions of your leave will be changed to allow you to access public funds. There is no Home Office fee for this application.
- You’re eligible to apply for a change of conditions if: you have leave to remain under the 10-year partner, parent or private life route
- you have leave to remain on the basis of other ECHR right
- You can also be eligible to apply if you have leave to remain under the 5-year partner/parent route.
- If you’re accepted you would be considered to have moved on to the 10-year route to settlement.
You’ll qualify for an amendment to your conditions of leave only if:
- you’re destitute
- there are particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of your child on account of your very low income
- there are exceptional circumstances in your case relating to your financial circumstances
A person is destitute if:
- they do not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it (whether or not their other essential living needs are met)
- they have adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it, but cannot meet their other essential living needs
If you meet the requirements for a change to the conditions of your leave to allow you to apply for public funds you will be told by letter or email.
This may include a request that you give biometric information (fingerprints and photographs). You would need to do this at a Service & Support Centre (SSC). Information on how to do this will be provided in the decision. A new biometric residence permit will be issued.
If you are worried about your financial position and would like to discuss your circumstances please call us on 01234 350244 and we will be happy to assist you.