Immigration updates for employers | January 2023

New COVID-19 entry requirements

From 5 January 2023, individuals travelling to England from China (with the exception of children aged 11 and under) will be required to take a COVID-19 test no more than two days before they travel, regardless of whether England is their final destination or not.

Changes to migrant start dates and sponsor reporting

In November 2022, the Home Office updated its Sponsor Guidance to provide sponsors with more flexibility over a migrant's potential start date. Sponsored migrants may now commence work in their sponsored employment as soon as they are granted permission to enter or stay in the UK, even if this is before the start date recorded on their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Sponsors are no longer required to file a report on the online sponsor management system if the employee's start date is earlier than the date of their CoS or if the start date is delayed by no more than 28 days.

Where a sponsored migrant's start date is delayed by more than 28 days, a new concession has been introduced allowing sponsors to continue the migrant's employment provided there is an acceptable reason for the delay. A non-exhaustive list of reasons are provided in the Sponsor Guidance at page 22. The Home Office retains the right to cancel the individual's permission if it does not consider the reason provided to be acceptable.