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Changes to the Immigration Rules

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Change

The latest Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules was recently published on 10th September 2021. The main changes in relation to both personal and corporate routes are summarised below. All of the changes will be implemented from 1st October 2021.

Coronavirus(COVID-19) concessions

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants whose businesses had been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic were able to extend their leave, provided they had created the equivalent of two full-time jobs for settled workers at the time of the application and did not need to demonstrate that the jobs had existed for a minimum period of 12 months. The second requirement must be met before the Applicant can qualify for indefinite leave to remain, in addition to the existing job creation requirement (Appendix A: Attributes)
  • The concession for EU Settlement Scheme migrants who have had their continuous residence (excess absences from the UK) affected due to Covid-19 will end on 6th October 2021
  • Between 24th January 2020 and 30th June 2021, there was a concession for Skilled Worker and T2 Sportsperson Applicants allowing them to start working for their sponsor while waiting for a decision on their application. Therefore, a change is being made to the indefinite leave to remain rules to allow these individuals who successfully applied during this period to include the time they were waiting for a decision towards the 5 years required for settlement as a Skilled Worker or as a T2 Sportsperson

New International Sportsperson route

  • The new International Sportsperson route will replace the current T2 and T5 Temporary Worker routes for professional sporting workers
  • The new International Sportsperson route will continue to offer a dedicated option for Applicants wishing to come to the UK for 12 months or less, however, it will condense the T2 and T5 routes into one dedicated category. This should make it more straightforward for professional sportspeople and their sponsors to access
  • The new International Sportsperson route will require an endorsement from a Sports Governing Body as well as a Certificate of Sponsorship (“CoS”) from a sports club
  • The route will be a points-based route and there will be an English language requirement for Applicants who apply for a stay in the UK that exceeds 12 months

T5 Temporary Worker routes

  • The Tier 5 Temporary Worker routes will be re-branded and all references to the T5 system will be removed
  • The current T5 Creative and Sporting Worker routes will be separated to the International Sportsperson route (mentioned above) and the Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa

Youth Mobility Scheme

  • The “T5 (Temporary Worker) Youth Mobility Scheme” will be re-branded to “Youth Mobility Scheme”
  • Iceland is being added to the Youth Mobility Scheme country list as a country without Deemed Sponsorship Status with an allocation of 1,000 places
  • India is being added to the list of countries where invitation to apply arrangements will be applicable
  • Applicants without Deemed Sponsorship Status may apply for this route from any post that accepts such applications worldwide

Global Talent route

  • Introduction of Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes
  • The list of qualifying prizes under the Prestigious Prizes route will be expanded to cover a wider range of prizes. Recipients of such will also not require an endorsement to apply for the Global Talent Visa
  • Changes will be made to the endorsement and evidential requirements as per the feedback from the endorsing bodies
  • The arts and culture endorsement criteria:
    • Letters of recommendation required by the endorsing body must specifically be from well-established ‘arts and culture’ organisations to ensure the letters are relevant to their field.
    • Changes have been made to make it easier for Applicants who are members of groups to qualify for the visa. This will allow individuals to submit evidence that primarily relates to the activities of a group but also specifically names the Applicant(s) in support of their claim of exceptional talent or promise
  • Digital technology endorsement criteria:
    • The role as a board member of a product-led digital technology company can be used to evidence an exceptional talent
    • Reduce the number of examples required for each of the exceptional promise criteria from “at least 2” to “at least 1”
  • Science, engineering, humanities and medicine fields criteria:
    • The eligibility period for the fellowship fast track pathway will be extended following the completion of an approved fellowship or award from 12 months to 5 years which will allow more Applicants to qualify under this category
    • The requirements of paragraph GTE 8.3(a)-(b) of Appendix Global Talent relating to the Applicant’s post with the job description and statement of guarantee in paragraph GTE 8.6 will be incorporated
    • Expansion of the requirement to have an academic representative on interview panels to cover research and innovation representatives as not all roles will be in an academic setting
  • The endorsed funder fast track pathway is being amended

EU Settlement Scheme

  • The EUSS family permit will allow a joining family member to apply to the EUSS whilst in the UK as a visitor. As such, the temporary concession outside Appendix EU will cease to operate from 6th October 2021

Visitor Routes

  • The visitor rules are being amended to allow students to come to the UK to undertake activities relating to a course they are undertaking at a UK-based institution from overseas via distance or virtual learning
  • Students studying nursing overseas at the equivalent of degree level can come to the UK as a visitor to undertake electives with a UK higher education provider. These must be unpaid and involve no treatment of patients
  • Research students who have been accepted by a UK higher education provider to undertake research as part of a course of study can do so at a UK research institute, provided a formal partnership exists between the higher education provider and the research institute overseas
  • Clarification on when employees of overseas manufacturers or suppliers can come to the UK as visitors to install, maintain, service or advise on equipment, software or hardware

Hong Kong British National (Overseas) route

  • Appendix Hong Kong British National (Overseas) has been amended to incorporate the concession made outside the Rules which allows the partner or child under 18 of a BN(O) status holder to join the BN(O) status holder in the following a grant under this route
  • Parents of a child born in the UK to a BN(O) status holder or their partner, or a BN(O) household member or their partner can regularise that child’s stay under the BN(O) route

Provisions for Afghan Locally Employed Staff (“LES”)

  • In light of the current situation in Afghanistan, the UK Government is enabling current and former Afghan LES and their family members who are outside Afghanistan to relocate to the UK under the Afghan relocations and assistance policy and the ex-gratia scheme. Currently, these schemes are only available to individuals in Afghanistan
  • Afghan LES who are approved for relocation will be granted indefinite leave to enter the UK which will replace the current 5 years’ limited leave to remain. Those who are already present in the UK will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain any time from 1st October 2021, even if this is before their current limited leave to remain expires

You can read more about the publication on: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1016555/E02669876_HC_617_Immigration_Rules_Web_Accessible.pdf

Should you wish to talk to us about how the changes will affect your UK immigration status, please contact our friendly team of London immigration lawyers at Barar and Associates at barar.london@bararassociates.co.uk or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via https://bararassociates.com/.

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