Further changes to the UK Immigration Rules

new immigration sponsor system

On 10 September 2021, the Home Office published further changes to be made to the current UK Immigration Rules. Most of these take place throughout October 2021, though there are some changes taking place as late as January 2022.

COVID-19 concessions

Throughout the current pandemic, the Home Office have published COVID-19 concessions by way of guidance, which can be changed at will. A few of these concessions are to be formally introduced into the Immigration Rules, providing more security to those affected, including:

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holders, who were granted an extension under the concession and wish to apply for settlement, will need to show they have created 4 jobs each lasting 12 months or 2 jobs each lasting 24 months
  • Skilled Worker and Sportsperson migrants – for applicants who were in another visa category, and applied to “switch” into one of these between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2021, it may now be possible to count the decision making time towards settlement
  • EU Settlement Scheme – the late concession/ guidance relating to excessive absences issued shortly before the deadline of 30 June 2021 is being incorporated

Other changes

A summary of some of the changes are set out below:

  • Except in prescribed cases, EEA nationals will no longer be allowed to use their valid national identity card for entry to the UK – they will need to use a valid passport
  • Launch of the new “International Sportsperson” route, which replaces existing routes for professional sportspeople, and requires endorsement, sponsorship, meeting financial requirements and in some instances, meeting the English language requirement
  • The Global Talent route for talented and promising individuals in certain fields, will see some changes for the endorsement element, and the “Prestigious Prizes” element which bypasses the endorsement requirement is expanding the list of qualifying prizes
  • The “working holiday visa” or Youth Mobility Scheme visa category is being expanded in January 2022 to allow citizens of India and Iceland between the ages of 18 to 30 to apply to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years, without sponsorship, with additional requirements for Indian citizens including holding an undergraduate degree or having a minimum of 3 years’ work experience in a role equivalent to the approved list of jobs
  • Changes are being made to existing rules relating to Afghan citizens under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, as well as the ex-gratia scheme

The Home Office have also published the Afghanistan resettlement and immigration policy statement, as well as promotional material called Next steps in the UK: immigration information for people evacuated from Afghanistan, although these do not form part of the Immigration Rules.

OTHER ITEMS TO NOTE

Other than looking at some of the changes being introduced to the Immigration Rules over the next few months, changes and immigration related news/cases you might want to take a note of include:

First published: 28 September 2021

Further information

If you have any questions and/or would like tailored advice on any UK immigration matter, please speak to Vincent Chung at: hello@dixcartuk.com or to your usual Dixcart contact.

The data contained within this document is for general information only. No responsibility can be accepted for inaccuracies. Readers are also advised that the law and practice may change from time to time. This document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute accounting, legal or tax advice. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.