Updated: Sep 12, 2019
The Home Office published its latest Statement of Changes to the immigration rules. Most of the changes will take place from 1 October 2019 with a few selective changes on 6 October 2019.
There are quite a few changes to note.
In particular, administrative reviews must now be made online (if the original application was made online).
Aside from the above, below are some of the fundamental changes that all of us should note.
EU Settlement Scheme
EU Settlement Scheme effective from 1 October 2019 - Make revised provision for access to the EU Settlement Scheme for the family members of UK nationals returning from a European Economic Area (EEA) Member State or Switzerland, in line with a policy paper published in April 2019, and make other technical changes to the EU Settlement Scheme and EU Settlement Scheme family permit. These changes include Administrative Review, Expanding the scope of family members able to apply as well as Returning British Citizens with their family members.
A further update on the exact changes will be provided in due course. Tier 2 General Change
Tier 2 (General) – Shortage occupation list (effective 6 October 2019) – the list of shortage occupations have finally been expanded as a result of the recommendations made by the Migration Advisory Committee. These new shortage occupations include Biological scientists and biochemists, Architects, Veterinarians and Psychologists. This means that employers needn’t carry out the strict guidelines of RLMT and other processes when employing these roles. The Home Office has also expanded several existing shortage occupations to allow all occupations under a specific code rather than specific area within that occupation code, for example, software engineers.
Tier 2 (General) – PhD roles (effective 6 October 2019) will no longer be part of the 20,700 quotas. A promise from the Government in attracting the best and the brightest. What’s more, research outside the UK as a result of their Tier 2 employment will not be counted when applicants apply for Indefinite Leave in the UK in the future.
Tier 2 (General) – Chefs (effective 6 October 2019). This role has always been the bane of the Home Office since Work Permits (UK) days, from raising NQF Level 3 to Level 4 to allowing it to become a shortage occupation. Employers from the F&B trade will know that Restaurants which offer a takeaway service (including online food delivery services) are not allowed to sponsor chefs in the UK. This requirement is being removed to allow restaurants with a takeaway service as an added value to their business will be allowed to employ chefs. Standard fayre food outlets or pure takeaway outlets will still be disallowed to sponsor chefs.
Tier 2 (General) - salary threshold – as part of the review, a number of the banding have been changed and shall be effective on 6 October 2019. Employers assigning CoS post 6 October 2019 must ensure that salaries are in line with the new SOC.
Tier 4 (General) – students are allowed to commence work with their employer 3 months before the completion of their degree. This is as long as they have obtained the relevant visa to do so.
Start-up and Innovator Visa
A change is being made (effective 1 October 2019) that Students switching into Start-Up categories may have an existing business in the UK. This change only applies to students on the Doctorate Extension Scheme and not all students.
Essentially, what this means is that applicants under the current Doctorate Extension Scheme can establish a business in the UK before switching into the Start-Up visa category. Start-Up visa holders may passport to the Innovator category in the future. A change from the individual needing to apply for an innovator endorsement instead.
Tier 1 Investor and Entrepreneur
A change (effective 1 October 2019) to Tier 1 (Investor) migrant who’s leave was granted pre-29 March 2019. Those who still hold investments in Government Gilts must move their investments before 6 April 2023, while those who want to apply for indefinite leave to remain must move them before 6 April 2025.
The change is to ensure that existing Tier 1 (Investors) are not caught by the changes on 29 March 2019 where Government gilts are no longer an acceptable investment vehicle.
Tier 1 Exceptional Talent
Changes to the supporting evidence for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) for certain endorsing bodies. These changes include:
The Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and British Academy are allowing greater flexibility to qualifying applicants. For instances, the list of peer-reviewed fellowships are expanded; those who held a fellowship in the 12 months before the application and a wider range of research positions and senior academics to apply under the fast-track route.
Tech Nation now requires 3 (rather than 2) letters of support for the digital technology sector. Tech Nation will now consider commerciality of an applicant’s idea, their previous work and achievements.
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