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Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules

Immigration Rules

Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules

The UK government has laid the Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules on 22nd October 2020. This outlines the future points-based immigration system in the UK.

What are the changes?

Visitor

  • Studying will be permitted under the standard visitor visa for up to 6 months. This must be at an accredited institution with the exception of recreational courses that are less than 30 days.
  • Drivers on international routes will be permitted to collect goods in addition to the delivery of goods/passengers.
  • There will no longer be a requirement for volunteering to be incidental to the main reason for visiting the UK.

Short-term study route

  • A short-term study route will be introduced for those who wish to undertake English language courses between 6 to 11 months at an accredited institution.

Overseas Domestic Worker

  • Immigration Rules will be changed to reflect that students and other temporary residents including those who are in the UK for short-term study will remain unable to sponsor an overseas domestic worker.

Skilled Worker route

  • The Skilled Worker route will replace the Tier 2 (General) visa route from 1st January 2021 and will apply to EEA and non-EEA nationals.
  • The cap on Tier 2 (General) and the Resident Labour Market Test will be removed.
  • The 12-month cooling-off period and 6-year maximum length of stay in the route will be removed.
  • The minimum skill threshold will be lowered from graduates to RQF Level 3 (SCQF Level 6/CQFW level 3). Also, the skill threshold will be assessed according to the skill level of the job the applicant will be undertaking and the applicants will not need to hold a formal qualification.
  • The general salary threshold is currently at £30,000 under the Tier 2 (General) route and this will be lowered to £25,600 a year. Meeting the eligibility requirements will remain the same and the skilled worker must be paid an amount equal to or exceeding the threshold. Additionally, the ‘going rate’ for the occupation will be updated with the adjustment in the general salary threshold. The applicant’s salary will be assessed only on guaranteed basic gross pay.
  • The total points the applicants under the Skilled Worker route will need to meet is 70 points of which 50 points will be mandatory as per below:
    • Sponsorship = 20 points
    • Job at an appropriate skill level = 20 points
    • English language at B1 = 10 points
  • Furthermore, the applicant may be awarded a tradable 20 points according to the level of their salary, PhD qualification, or whether the job is in the shortage occupation list.
  • Additionally, for settlement applications, the salary threshold of £35,800 will be removed.

Intra-Company route

  • The current Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa will be renamed as the ‘Intra-Company route’ and will have the same sub-categories as ‘Intra-Company Transfer route ‘ and ‘ Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route’.
  • The 12- month cooling-off period will be amended and will allow an applicant to hold an Intra-Company Transfer visa for up to 5 years in any 6-year rolling period. Also, up to 9 years in any 10-year period for high earners.
  • The provision on the salary threshold for high earners will be unified to £73,900.
  • The changes will make it easier for applicants to switch within the UK from another route to the Intra-Company Transfer route. Please note that applicants still need to be an existing employee and must have the relevant overseas experience to be eligible to apply unless they are a high earner.

Please kindly note that the current Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) will be closed to new applicants from 1st December 2020. Therefore, existing migrant workers currently in the UK under these routes will need to apply for their extension and meet the eligibility requirements under the new Rules.

You can read more about the publication on:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-hc-813-22-october-2020

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/.