16 September 2021
New Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules released
The UK government announced changes to the Immigration Rules and released a policy statement that sets out the detailed rules for the new immigration system on 10 September 2021 (HC 617). Woodcock Law looks briefly at the main changes to UK immigration.
Key details published in the Statement of Changes have been summarised below.
|Banning of entry to the UK with an ID card. A passport is now required for European Economic Area (EEA) national and Swiss citizens (with exceptions for some existing residents).This does not include those with status under the EU Settlement Scheme or rights under the Withdrawal Agreements.||From 1 October 2021, EEA and Swiss citizens will, like other nationalities, need a passport to demonstrate nationality and identity at the UK border, rather than using a national identity card. EEA Nationals with pending applications under the EUSS or Frontier Worker Scheme can still use their national identity cards for now.|
|In-country applicants for visa extensions are not permitted to travel outside of the Common Travel Area (the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) from 1 October 2021.||In-country applicants must remain in the United Kingdom while their applications are pending a decision. Previously, in-country applicants only needed to remain in the United Kingdom during the period between their biometrics appointment and the date of Home Office’s decision.|
|Rebranding of the Tier 5 Temporary Worker Routes.||New application forms are to be launched, and this route will no longer be referred to as T5. The new system will streamline the application process and rules of entry to the UK.|
|A new International Sportsperson route, consolidating the previous Tier 2 and Tier 5 sporting visas into one dedicated category.||Simplified rules for professional sports workers will be implemented in line with the new points-based immigration system. The new International Sportsperson Route will still allow professional athletes to stay in the United Kingdom for 12 months or less.|
|Temporary Worker – Creative Worker visa category||The Creative worker visa category will now be a dedicated visa route.|
|Tweaks to Global Talent, making it slightly easier to get an endorsement, and doubling the number of awards that mean no endorsement is required. The evidential requirements for digital technology endorsements in particular have been amended.||These changes will lower the barriers to entry for this route, increasing the number of applicants.|
|Iceland and India are being added to the Youth Mobility Scheme from 1 January 2021. Iceland is being added 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 apply (similar to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong) with 3,000 places allocated.||Access to the Youth Mobility scheme will be open to applicants from more countries.|
|The security situation in Afghanistan has meant changes to the existing resettlement schemes for Afghans, including granting indefinite leave to remain from the outset. The UK government will enable current and former Afghan Locally Employed Staff (LES) and their family members who are outside Afghanistan to relocate to the United Kingdom under the Afghan relocations and assistance policy and the ex gratia scheme.||These changes will provide support to LES and their families in relocating to the United Kingdom, with greater flexibility given the current situation in Afghanistan.|
|Changes to EU Settlement Scheme family permits, including “to allow a joining family member to apply to the EUSS whilst in the UK as a visitor”||The non-EU family members of EU citizens with pre-settled or settled status under Appendix EU to the Rules now need a family permit visa to join their sponsor in the UK|
|Some changes have been made to the British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) route. Concessions made outside the Rules to allow the partner and, if applicable, child under 18 of a BN(O) status holder to join the BN(O) status holder following a grant on this route, has now been incorporated into the Immigration Rules for the BN(O) route.||These concessions are now formalised within the Immigration Rules. We will be running a webinar to discuss these changes on Tuesday 28 September. Book your space here.|
|A new “Appendix Settlement Protection” for refugees to get ILR||People with refugee status or humanitarian protection can apply for settlement in the UK after five years.|
|Incorporation of some coronavirus concessions into the Rules. These include concessions covering:
||Concessions for migrants affected by Covid-19 are being formalised by being written into the rules, instead of existing only as guidance.|
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