On 7 March 2019 the Home Office introduced changes to the Immigration Rules consisting of 296 pages! Followed on 1 April 2019 - with more changes!
The main change was to allow for the universal roll out of the EU Settlement Scheme for EEA nationals living in the UK on 29 March 2019.
However, digesting the volume of changes has been a challenge.
Herewith, is a summary of the changes and during the next few months we will issue further news updates and comment further, on our specific immigration service pages. We would advise potential applicants to consult the impact of any potential changes related to them with an immigration solicitor:
7 March 2019 changes
- introduction on 29 April 2019 of new ‘a Start up’ and ‘Innovator’ categories to replace the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate routes. Both new schemes will require applicants to be endorsed by trusted bodies
- Tier 1 Entrepreneur extensions available until 23 April 2023 and settlement applications until 5 April 2025 for existing migrants on this route – otherwise this route closed to new applicants from 29 April 2019
- additional scrutiny of Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrants at the extension stage, to ensure they are genuinely engaged in business
- transitional rules introduced relating to job creation for Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrants who applied before 6 April 2014 to be removed
- reform of the Tier 1 Investor route to protect against crime and ensure investments are of benefit to the UK economy.
- removal of government bonds as a qualifying investment for Tier 1 Investors
- roll out of the EU Settlement Scheme for EU nationals on 30 March 2019
- updates to salary levels in the Codes of Practice for Tier 2 General workers
- changes to allocation of points for sponsors through the Tier 2 ‘restricted procedure’ to enable higher salaries to be awarded more points and ensure shortage occupation jobs are still prioritised
- place an obligation on the Secretary of State for the Home Department to provide a report every five years commencing on 6 April 2022, to consider whether the immigration rules meet their purpose, whether they remain relevant and remove regulations where possible
- introduce technical changes to Tier 4 applicants relating to maintenance
- time spent under the age of 18, will not count towards the limit for those studying above degree level for Tier 4 migrants
- consolidation of all changes into the immigration rules.
1 April 2019 changes
- enable EEA nationals for the Settlement Scheme to be available in a ‘no deal’ situation to EEA nationals in the UK*
- allow an administrative review mechanism to be available in relation to a negative decision made outside the UK to an EU national or family member.
*due to the impending change of Prime Minister the rules may be altered in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Some of the changes and the effective commencement dates are buried within the 296 pages. No doubt the ongoing saga of Brexit will result in further changes to the immigration rules and challenges for applicants and immigration practitioners.
For those intending to apply for through the EU Settlement scheme it now applies to those living in the UK up to 31 October 2019 given the extension granted by the EU.
We strongly recommend applicants to seek immigration advice and assistance through regulated advisors. RLegal is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the practitioners experience now spans three decades.
RLegal solicitors can be contacted on +44 207 038 3980, by completion our online form, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org