Universities have an obligation to assist students with accommodation: Home Office informs NORKA UK representative – UKMALAYALEE

Universities have an obligation to assist students with accommodation: Home Office informs NORKA UK representative

Sunday 17 May 2020 1:23 AM UTC

By A Staff Reporter

LONDON May 17: Universities have an obligation to ensure that students in the UK who are unable to travel have continued accommodation and access to essential services in the UK for the duration of their stay, the Home Office has informed T Haridas, NORKA (Non Resident Keralites Affairs) representative in the UK.

In a written response to T Haridas, the Home Office said: “Government has been working closely with the higher education sector to ensure it provides the additional support needed for those students who remain in the UK.

In addition to continuing to provide accommodation for those who cannot travel home or have no alternative residence, providers will also offer a range of other services to students, including support for catering and cleaning, and support for mental health.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced that they have been authorised to provide necessary assistance to those with no access to public funds, who require shelter and other forms of support during the outbreak, we can confirm that Local Authorities will take the steps they deem necessary in providing urgent and necessary assistance, without the need to assess a migrant’s conditions of leave.

As you can understand, the repatriation of Indian citizens is a matter for the Government of India. We have, however, raised this issue with them in order to seek clarification of when Indian nationals may be able to return.

Most recently, Lord Ahmad raised this with the Indian High Commissioner in London on 29 April. We await further details from the Government of India of when India’s restrictions may be eased.

The note also added that students whose leave has expired, who have been unable to leave the UK through no fault of their own will not be penalised.

The government has made provisions to ensure that individuals who remain in the UK beyond the expiry of their visas on the basis of Covid-19 will not be considered to be overstayers.

Any individual whose leave has expired since 24 January or will expire prior to 31 May can get their visa extended until 31 May.