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Visa Renewal Delays Causing Documentation Confusion

Delays in the UK visa renewal process is causing significant problems for those living lawfully in the UK, according to a migrant rights charity.

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3C Leave Status Causing Confusion 

A study conducted by the Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London (Ramfel) concluded that those seeking to extend their immigration status are having difficulties proving their status.

The research, reported by the Guardian, shows many migrant workers are facing issues because people are unaware of Section 3C of the Immigration Act. 3C leave allows migrant workers who have made an application to extend their leave to remain in the UK while they are awaiting a decision from the Home Office.

Employers and Landlords Worried about Lack of Documentation

Migrants have protected rights to access healthcare, work and live in the UK during this period. However, the lack of documentary evidence showing this means they are running into problems with employers and landlords.

Around 30 per cent of migrant workers could be facing such difficulties while on 3C leave because of the confusion of what it means. In many cases, employers are concerned they could face legal action if they employ someone who does not have a clear immigration status.

Home Office Processing Delays 

“The average waiting time for a decision is currently 11 months, meaning applicants spend almost a year on 3C leave with no physical visa document. This has been compounded further by government delays in processing employment verification checks, which are meant to act as a safeguard for those on 3C leave,” explained Ramfel.

The Home Office has recently increased the number of staff processing visa applications to help ease delays caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

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