Home Office’s Changes to the Immigration Rules (07th March 2019)
It is that time of the year again where the Home Office brings upon changes to the UK’s Immigration Rules.
We have laid out some of the key changes below:
Tier 1 (Investor)
Changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) visa have been presented to the Parliament on 07th March 2019, some of the changes includes the following:
- “Require investors to provide evidence of the source of any investment funds they have obtained within the last two years (up from 90 days at present).
- Require UK banks to confirm they have carried out the checks they are required to make before opening an investment account.
- Exclude investment in government bonds.
- Tighten the rules around investment in companies.”
In addition to the changes above, the Home Office is currently developing the rules which will require future investors to undergo enhanced checks on their financial situation and business histories.
Such checks will be conducted before the investor makes their Tier 1 (Investor) visa application. We understand that the current proposal means that the enhanced checks will be carried out by a UK-regulated auditor.
Although, the Home Office has a legitimate aim for introducing enhanced checks to protect the UK from illegally obtained funds. However, the practicality associated with the implementation of such checks is doubtful. It is likely to be an arduous process which can potentially deter investors from applying. Therefore, we shall wait and see as to how the Home Office’s enhanced checks will work.
Start-up and Innovator visa route
The demise of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route is coming, this route will be replaced by the Start-up and Innovator route.
The Start-up route will be for those starting a business for the first time in the UK. Whereas, the Innovator route will be for those who are more experienced and who have funds to invest in their business.
Regardless of which route an applicant intends to take, their business ideas will be assessed by endorsing bodies and business experts.
Currently, business ideas are assessed by the Home Office. By shifting the assessment stage of the business ideas to people who are actually involved in businesses, the Home Office are making sure that both routes are only available to the most innovative, viable, and scalable businesses.
However, the Government did not provide any further information as to who the endorsing bodies and business experts will be. Or on which basis and criteria they will be appointed/nominated which brings uncertainty for any future applicant.
Tier 2 (General)
Due to the shortage of certain workers in the UK, the Home Office is extending the salary exemption in the Tier 2 (General) to enable the NHS and schools to hire workers from outside the UK, such exemption applies for the following workers:
- Medical radiographers; and
- Secondary school teachers whose subjects are in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Mandarin.
The Home Office has announced a two-year scheme to allow up to 20 nurses from Jamaica to come to the UK. This scheme aims to allow nurses from Jamaica to gain vital experience in NHS hospitals.
The Home Office is finally making changes to the Immigration Rules to allow eligible Afghan interpreters’ partners and children who are still in Afghanistan to relocate to the UK at a later date to join the Afghan interpreter.
Such changes were brought on by the recognition of the invaluable support given by Afghan interpreters to the UK’s armed forces.
Appendix H for Tier 4 applicants
The Home Office will be including the following countries below to benefit from streamlined documentary requirements currently found in Appendix H for Tier 4 applicants.
- Peru; and
- The initial period of leave has increased from 30 months to 5 years.
The rules will change to ensure that only those who are eligible for statelessness leave can qualify. Under the new rules, the applicant will be required to show that they have tried to obtain a nationality or right of residence in another country before applying for this status.
If you wish to access the full statement of changes to the Immigration Rules, please click the link below:
If you require any further explanation or have any questions about the changes above, please do not hesitate to contact our expert team of UK immigration lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0207 487 8370.