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COVID-19 virus and the impact on Sponsorship Visas

(Partner Content) The impact of the COVID-19 Virus is also affecting the UK immigration landscape.


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Breytenbachs has many Tier 4 Students, and Tier 2 and Tier 5 employees who are worried about how COVID-19 can impact on their immigration status. 

Some Tier 4 Students, and Tier 2 and Tier 5 employees are concerned that they may not be able to attend their studies, or not be able to work, due to COVID-19 circumstances. Students and employees may also need to serve a period of quarantine, or they may not be able to travel due to travel restrictions caused by COVID-19. Fortunately, we have some good news.

Guidance for Tier 2, 4 and 5 sponsors

According to UK Home Office Guidance, the sponsors of the Tier 2, 4, and 5 visa holders do not need to report student or employee absences that are related to COVID-19. 

The sponsors also do not need to withdraw sponsorship if they consider there are exceptional circumstances, such as; 

  • When a student will not be able to attend studies for more than 60 days. 
  • Employees are absent from work without pay for four weeks or longer. 

The decision on whether to terminate employment will rest with the employer. The same applies to the student. The decision to withdraw a student from their studies will rest with the sponsor. 

Fortunately, the Home Office recognises that the current COVID-19 situation is exceptional. The Home Office also says that it will not take any compliance action against students who are unable to attend their studies if sponsors continue to sponsor. Neither will they take compliance action against employees, if their sponsors authorise absences for these COVID-19 related reasons. 

The Home Office said that they would keep the current guidance under review. They will especially look at this if the length of absences might mean that a potential repeat of studies might become necessary. 

How Breytenbachs can help you during the COVID-19 situation

Clients of Breytenbachs can be assured that we are with you during this difficult time. Breytenbachs will do all we can to disseminate information from the Government and our professional bodies as to how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect immigration application processes and timelines. 

Breytenbachs understand that many persons who might be about to apply or who have applied it would be a concern as to how travel bans and the like will affect you. We will deal with each case as it comes. Do not hesitate to contact is if you would like to discuss your matters and make your plans for when this pandemic has run its course. 

For more information or assistance, please contact us at or visit our website at You are also welcome to fill out the form below. 

Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes, without giving any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.