On 10 September 2012, the Home Office published forthcoming changes to the Immigration Rules which will become effective on 1 October. The changes cover a swath of immigration rules and in places are complex. Due to the length of the proposed changes to the immigration rules, we summarise the main changes below.
We recommend you seek advice from an immigration solicitor, particularly if any of the changes impact on you. RLegal Immigration solicitors are a firm of specialist accredited lawyers based in Central London and can assist with an immigration related matter. You can contact us by completing our online form, sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning us on +44 207 038 3980 and of our immigration lawyers will respond to you.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur
- the COVID concession introduced last year allows Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrants, where impacted by the pandemic, to apply for an extension of stay if they had created 2 full-time jobs for settled workers but without the requirement to have them been employed for 12 months. The rules are being amended as they will need to have employed 2 settled workers for 12 months at the indefinite leave stage.
EU Settlement Scheme
- removing the COVID concession where applicants who were absent from the UK due to the pandemic and thereby broke the ‘continuous residence’ requirement.
Skilled worker and Tier 2 General route
- the COVID concession permitted applicants who applied between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2021 to commence employment whilst a decision on their application was pending. The immigration rules have been amended so that they will be able to include this period of employment as counting towards the 5-year period to settlement - where the application was then successful – this is a welcome move.
Documentation for EU nationals
- from 1 October 2021, EU nationals will no longer be able to travel to the UK with a national ID card as mentioned in our earlier post.
International Sportsperson route
- a new International Sportsperson route will replace the Tier 2 Sportsperson and Tier 5 Temporary worker routes to one scheme. It will enable an individual to apply to come to the UK, so long as they are endorsed from a specified sporting organisation, meet a points-based requirement, and where coming for more than 12 months have a relevant English language qualification.
Temporary Work – Creative Worker
- amalgamation of the Tier 5 Temporary Work visas to one route.
Global Talent route
Modifications to the criteria and evidence required by endorsing bodies
- arts and culture – sponsorship letters must be from ‘well-established arts and culture organisations.’ Changes to enable individuals who are members of groups, but which specify individual attributes to qualify
- digital technology – allows those who have board membership of a ‘product-led’ digital company to potentially qualify for exceptional talent and reduce examples of exceptional promise criteria to be produced to one from two
- science, engineering, humanities, and medicine – extend time from 12 months to 5 years after completing a ‘Fellowship’ to encourage more applicants, streamlining the process and have an academic in the interview process to cover research and innovation
- changes to the endorsed funder fast track pathway – allowing more flexibility by reducing employment contract or hosting agreement to one year but must be at least two years in length which are done abroad, allow qualifications listed by UK Research Innovation to be accepted without further evidence and clarification of information to support award and funding from approved bodies.
Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes
- expand the list of awarding prizes to encourage more applicants.
EU Family Permit
- technical changes to enable those who missed the 30 June 2021 deadline to make applications where there are ‘reasonable’ grounds to do so.
Youth Mobility Scheme
- rebrand of T5 (Temporary Worker) Youth Mobility Scheme to Youth Mobility Scheme
- Iceland added to the list of countries whose citizens can apply with 1000 places
- India is being added to the list of invitation for countries to apply.
- enable students undertaking distance learning from overseas to participate in their courses
- provide more information on what employees of overseas companies can do when coming to install, maintain or service equipment.
Hong Kong British National Overseas (BNO)
- Enable spouse and children under 18 to join a main applicant approved through the existing rules
- allow a child born to a BNO visa holder to regularise their status if born in the UK.
Technical changes to Skilled Worker route
- changing the rules to make it clear only a ‘A’ rated sponsors can certify ‘maintenance’
- correction to state the £10.10 minimum hourly rate will apply to initial, extension and indefinite leave to remain applications.
Representatives of an Overseas Business
- removal of salary rate to be paid by the representative of an Overseas Business when making an application for ILR, as no salary criteria for such individuals is required.