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COVID-19 FURTHER UPDATES: work checks, rent checks, travel documents and the asylum process and support (31 March 2020)

Date: 31/03/2020
Duncan Lewis, Business Immigration Solicitors, COVID-19 FURTHER UPDATES: work checks, rent checks, travel documents and the asylum process and support

Further to our previous article published last week, the Home Office has published further updates on the matters below, key information is as follows:

Right to Work Checks

As of 30 March 2020 the right to work checks temporary has been adjusted and the following changes have been made:

  • Checks can now be done via video calls.

  • Job applicants can send their documents through email, mobile APP rather than sending the originals.

  • Employers should use the employer checking service if employees cannot provide relevant documentations.

During this pandemic some individuals may not be able to provide evidence, the Home Office suggests that no one should be discriminated against because they are unable to show documents. Checks are necessary and you must still check prescribed documents listed in right to work checks employer guide.

Right to Rent Checks
  • Checks can now be carried out over video calls.

  • Tenants can send scanned documents or a photos of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals.

  • Landlords should use the Landlord’s Checking Service if a prospective or existing tenant cannot provide any of the existing documents.

Asylum Accommodation

The Home Office has stopped eviction from asylum accommodation as of 27 March 2020. The support and accommodation is to continue automatically for the next three months. Further guidance can be found here.

Asylum Decisions

Some of the asylum screening interviews are being cancelled, the Home Office is working on a new system for asylum seekers to register their claim. The Home Office has paused substantive interviews for pending cases. Those cases ready to be given decisions will be given decisions via email.

ILPA has received the following message from Asylum operations team on 30 March 2020:

“We are continually looking for ways to improve our service and during this time actually keep some of it going which is why we have developed a process to enable us to maintain the service of decisions in those cases where we are able to make decisions.
There are three steps to the process developed and as you will see they are aimed at making sure that we have the correct details for both you and our customers to avoid information being sent to the wrong recipient. In slower time we are looking to simplify the process to make it slightly less cumbersome”

Travel Documents

The Home Office has agreed to expedite applications for travel documents for those affected by COVID-19 crisis. In response to ILPA on 30 March 2020 this statement was given:

“If any customer is in a particularly difficult situation and needs their application to be considered as a matter of priority, we would ask that this request, along with scanned recent, acceptable evidence of the circumstances and confirmation that the customer is able to travel i.e. confirmation from the airline or ferry company, is sent to traveldocumentenquiries@homeoffice.gov.uk”

We are following the government and Home Office advice here at Duncan Lewis Solicitors and are on standby to advise and assist you with all your enquiries in regards to the above.

Contact our immigration directors Tamana Aziz, Vicash Ramkissoon, and Ayan Yalchin for more information.

Contact Tamana Aziz on 0203 114 1130 or 0792 077 022, or at tamanaa@duncanlewis.com

Contact Vicash Ramkissoon on 0203 114 1105 or 07920 077 012, or at vicashr@duncanlewis.com

Contact Ayan Yalchin on 0207 275 2011 or 07920 077 045, or at ayany@duncanlewis.com

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