Changes are coming our way, with the latest set of changes published on 10 September 2021.
New changes to the rules will take effect from 1 October 2021 (with some changes taking effect later on in October). These latest changes, found here, cover everything from providing new definitions to the rules to tidying up the rules and introducing new rules.
Amongst many of the changes, we have highlighted some of the key changes below:
Ending of COVID Concession - most concessions that have been put in place will be ending or adjusted into the standard rules shortly:
- For Entrepreneur - those who had been negatively affected by the pandemic and were unable to create two full-time roles for 12 months or more were allowed to extend their stay despite not meeting this particular rule. The new change effective from 1 October confirms that such jobs or new jobs must have been created/maintained for 12 months or more should the applicant go on to apply for settlement.
- For Skilled Worker and T2 Sportsperson - the concession allowed those between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2021 to begin working with their sponsor whilst waiting on their application. The Home Office has now confirmed that the time between employment and the subsequent visa grant will be taken into account as part of the five-year qualify period for settlement.
- EU Settlement Scheme: From June 2021, those affected due to COVID-19 will not have their continuous residence affected (under specified circumstances). The concession allowed effectively extended absences from the UK for more than six months (or 12 months in some cases). The concession will come to an end from 6 October 2021.
2. Sole Representative - additional requirements for settlement
- Representative of an Overseas Business must not be a majority shareholder or otherwise own and control the overseas business in any way during the entire term of their visa. The change reflects and reinforces the principle behind creating the 'Genuine Sole Representative' assessment during the last changes made to the rule. Furthermore, additional evidence is now required for those who are applying to settle in the UK.
3. Global Talent - Changes made to various evidential requirements and endorsement criteria (particularly the arts and culture criteria and the science, engineering, humanities and medicine field). Pathway through the Fast Track route has also been lightly amended.
4. Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) - adding India and Iceland to the list (further details to be posted in our next post). Suffice to say, Iceland has been allowed 1,000 places and India, 3000 places.
The youth mobility scheme allows those 18 - 30 to enter the UK for a limited two years to live and work in the UK without any prior employment sponsorship requirements.
The new YMS rules will be effective from 11 October 2021.
5. Visitors - changes are made to clarify the duration of visits and multiple entry visas.
More noticeably, the rule made specific reference to those who enter the UK as a visitor to perform activities allowed under the 'manufacturer or supplier of goods to the UK' banner. A clarification is made to confirm that an employee of an overseas business who "is part of a contractual arrangement for after-sales services agreed at the time of the sale or lease, including in a warranty or other service contract incidental to the sale or lease" will be allowed. This widens the previous scope of limiting such permitted activities to those who are themselves the manufacturers or suppliers of goods to the UK.
Apart from the above summary, several changes (such as the launch of the new International Sportsperson route) are worth reading.
Whilst we continue to study the 183 pages of changes on offer, we will be updating you with specific exciting changes coming our way, not least the inclusion of India as part of the YMS.
Shores & Legal are experienced and expert immigration partners for your business and personal immigration requirements. We have years of experience in helping companies identify their immigration requirements and strategy to the UK. If you wish to discuss your UK immigration requirements, contact us at +44 (0) 207 097 6778 or firstname.lastname@example.org.