I have ECAA leave but I’ve been affected by the Covid restrictions
If you wish to apply for ILR under Appendix ECAA, but you have been stuck outside the UK for over 180 days as a result of either Covid-19 illness and/or travel restrictions associated with Covid-19, that absence may be justified as a “serious or compelling reason” and result in indefinite leave being granted outside the rules. You must provide evidence of why you could not return.
If you were furloughed for a period, you will still be classed as being in work provided you were in genuine and effective employment in line with the conditions of your ECAA leave immediately before being furloughed, and remained under contract with your employer. You will need to provide evidence of furlough payments or a letter from your employer confirming you were furloughed.
If you’re applying for an extension of ECAA leave and your 2020/21 financial year profits are impacted due to the UK’s coronavirus restrictions, then discretion can be exercised by caseworkers. Discretion would include overlooking the need for the existing business to be viable as demonstrated by the production of recent accounts during any period of coronavirus restrictions.
When Covid has caused you to lose your job, or stop working due to ill health, you will need to provide evidence of why you were unable to work, and that you were/are seeking work with JobCentrePlus.