In summary, the guidance on the application process for the temporary extension applications under the Covid-19 concession confirms that the standard extension application requirements will continue to apply as well as a genuine entrepreneur test. Crucially however the job creation requirement has been eased for Entrepreneurs whose businesses have been disrupted by the pandemic, for example resulting in them having to lay off staff or being forced to close under lockdown measures.
Business disruption and job creation
To apply for an extension the applicant will need to evidence that they have created at least two jobs for settled workers at the time they submit their application but have been unable to meet the normal requirements for job creation due to the pandemic.
As such, where the normal requirements provide that applicants must have created two full time jobs which have existed for 12 consecutive months, applicants whose business has been impacted by the pandemic can combine the employment of different employees across multiple jobs and different months to create the equivalent of two full time jobs. Where an applicant has not been able to fulfil the job cration requirement at all before their current visas expire, they will be able to apply for a one-time temporary extension of two years leave provided they meet the other requirements.
However, when they come to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (“ILR”), applicants who have been granted such a temporary extension will be required to demonstrate they have created two additional full time jobs for the 12 month period over and above the normal job creation requirement for ILR.
The Home Office has also now confirmed that time spent by staff on furlough can be included in this totting up exercise, provided they have been paid at least 80% of their normal salary. This presents a significant U-turn on its stance earlier this year that will be welcomed to existing Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants relying on these provisions.
If you require further information on making an application or on your personal circumstances, please contact by email either Kathryn Bradbury or, alternatively, telephone on 020 7465 4300.