Further changes to the UK Immigration Rules
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.
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
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:
- With the current situation in Afghanistan, please do reach out to us if you come across anyone requiring immigration assistance – we will try to help/ signpost where possible
- The current “traffic light” system for travellers to the UK will be changing at 4am on Monday 4 October 2021
- The temporary changes to right to work checks were due to end on 31 August 2021, but have now been deferred to 5 April 2022 – see here for more information
- The Confederation of British Industry calls on the Immigration Rules to be relaxed to ease labour shortages, for example in hospitality, food processing, and logistics
- The government has announced temporary visas for up to 5,000 HGV drivers and up to 5,500 temporary visas for poultry workers
First published: 28 September 2021
If you have any questions and/or would like tailored advice on any UK immigration matter, please speak to us at: email@example.com or to your usual Dixcart contact.
Upcoming changes to the UK Immigration Rules
Following the Budget on 3 March 2021 announcing some immigration changes, on 4 March 2021, the Home Office published its first Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules of the year. We summarise some of the key substantive changes below.
Introduction of new visa category
The new Graduate route will be open for applications from 1 July 2021. This visa category will allow international students who have successfully completed their higher education either as a Student or Tier 4 migrant to apply for a 2 or 3 year visa to work (including self-employment).
Skilled Worker route
There are various clarifications and more notably, there is the addition of eight occupations into the Shortage Occupation List in the health and care sectors, including: Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Nursing auxiliaries and assistants, and Senior care workers.
Modern foreign language teachers will also be added to the Shortage Occupation List, but skilled chefs will be removed.
Jobs on the Shortage Occupation List score more points towards the minimum 70 points required in this visa category.
In addition, the minimum hourly rate must be at least £10.10, even if the minimum annual salary threshold is met. These changes will go live on 6 April 2021.
Where applicants have received a “prestigious prize” they will no longer need to seek endorsement from an endorsing body. A prestigious prize includes the following (in specified categories):
- Academy Awards
- Brit Awards
- Golden Globes
- Nobel Prize
Bypassing the endorsement stage allows an applicant to apply directly for the visa, which can save on time and costs. Some of the changes will go live on 6 April 2021 and 5 May 2021.
Changes in other visa categories have not been covered as these are mostly minor amendments.
Other changes on the horizon
From the Budget, we can expect to see in the next 12 months:
- an elite points-based visa by March 2022
- review of the Innovator visa
- launch of the new Global Business Mobility by spring 2022 for overseas businesses to establish a presence or transfer staff to the UK – this is possibly a replacement of the current Sole Rep visa category
- modernising the immigration sponsorship system
- If you have any questions, regarding UK immigration, the recent changes and the implications of Brexit, please get in touch with us in the Dixcart office in the UK: firstname.lastname@example.org, or your usual Dixcart contact.
First published: 05 March 2021