September 2021 changes to immigration law

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September 2021 changes to immigration law

Published 4 November 2021

On 10 September 2021, the Home Office published a significant set of changes to the Immigration Rules amounting to 192 pages. Our summary below highlights some of these changes.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants benefited from special concessions during Covid-19 if their business was disrupted by the pandemic. For example, they did not need to employ two settled, British or EEA workers for at least 12 consecutive months in order to extend their visas. Instead, they could have simply shown that the jobs were created and this would have allowed them to extend their visa provided their inability to employ the workers for 12 months was due to coronavirus.

From 6 October 2021, a change in the Immigration Rules means that those applying to settle in the UK will have to demonstrate that the jobs did exist for 12 months otherwise they will not qualify for settlement. This is in addition to all the usual requirements being met around job creation.

Skilled Worker

Migrants on the Skilled Worker route applying for indefinite leave to remain can now include time from another route provided they were waiting for a decision on their Skilled Worker application and the following conditions were met:

  • Their application was for permission to stay in the UK as opposed to an application to enter the UK;
  • The application was made between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2021;
  • The applicant had a valid CoS issued by a licensed sponsor on the date they submitted their application; and
  • Their visa application was subsequently granted.

The long delays that applicants experienced whilst waiting for a decision on their application should not therefore hinder them from applying for indefinite leave to remain.

Global Talent

A number of changes have been made to the Global Talent route:

  • Arts and culture applicants must now provide letters of recommendation from well-established arts and culture organisations. Applicants will be able to rely on their individual work or work as a named member of a group such as internationally recognised orchestras.
  • Digital technology applicants can now use experience as a board member of a product-led digital technology company. The number of examples required by candidates showing exceptional promise has been reduced from two to one.
  • Science, engineering, humanities and medicine applicants can now apply under the fellowship fast track route following completion of an approved fellowship or award within five years of the date of the application.
  • Applicants intending to rely on having received a prestigious prize can now rely on an expanded list of prizes.

EU Settlement Scheme

The temporary concession allowing joining family members to apply for status whilst in the UK as a visitor has now been made permanent. This means that joining family members of qualifying EEA nationals can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme from within the UK even if they entered the UK as a visitor.

Youth Mobility Scheme

In 2022 Iceland will be added to the list of countries without deemed sponsorship status. What this means is that nationals of Iceland aged between 18 and 30 will become eligible to apply for a visa to come and work in the UK for 2 years.

Hong Kong BN(O) nationals

Children born in the UK to a BN(O) national or their partner will be able to regularise their stay in the UK under the BN(O) route. This extends to children born to a BN(O) household member or their partner i.e. adult children of BN(O) nationals who are part of the same household.

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