Covid-19: Guidance for Tier 2 & Tier 5 visa holders and their sponsors




Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many Tier 2 and Tier 5 migrants and their employers are unsure of how absences due to illness may affect their visa. Here are some facts you should know:

  1. Sick leave can be taken by those who are self-isolating due to the coronavirus outbreak/ illness. Sick leave is an acceptable absence which can be taken in addition to the permitted annual leave of up to 4 weeks.

Moreover, Employers will not be required to report any migrant’s absences, where those absences have been a result of the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.

  1. Sponsors will also not be required to withdraw your sponsorship for employees who have exceeded four weeks of absence without pay.
  2. Sick Employees, including Tier 2/ Tier 5 visa holders, are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – £95.85 per week for up to 28 weeks.

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full.

  1. The reduction in salary due to sick leave may cause your salary payments to fall below what was stated in your CoS, the advertisement for your job and even the appropriate rate stated in the SOC code.

However, if the reason for the reduction is SICK LEAVE (incl. due to coronavirus) your sponsor is NOT obliged to stop sponsoring you or to report it to the Home Office. However, this may affect your ability to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Tier 2 migrant where the salary threshold of £35,800 should be met.

  1. Positive news which is certain: The salary threshold in the eligibility criteria for indefinite leave to remain under Tier 2 will not increase annually following the recommendation of the Migration Advisory Committee. As a result, it will remain at £35,800 for all applications submitted on or after 6 April 2019 (paragraph 245HF(vi)(3) of the immigration rules).
  2. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in which the Government will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers’ wage costs will be also available to employers in regards to Tier 2/ Tier 5 migrants.


You can download the guidance in Word format below:

Guidance for Tier 2 & Tier 5 visa holders and their sponsors

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