The Home Secretary has made changes to immigration rules most of which will come in to force 6 April 2021. The main changes are related to work and study.
The New Graduate Scheme
The new graduate scheme is an unsponsored route. Graduates can switch jobs and choose the type of the work they wish to do. Additionally, they will be permitted to switch to any other immigration rules including switching to the skilled worker route. To be eligible and qualify under this route you must be a student in the UK. This is a points-based application and an applicant must score 70 points to be eligible for the visa. The eligibility requirements include:-
- Successfully completing their studies as a student at an institution with a track compliance records. According to Home Office guidance, a track record of compliance means showing a history of “immigration compliance” and “educational oversight” (paragraph 4.6). Sponsors must also register with the Office for Students
- Getting a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or certain professional qualifications like the LPC for lawyers or PGCE for teachers.
- Being actually in the UK for a minimum length of time, depending on the duration of the course and subject to exceptions for distance learning between January 2020 and September 2021 (a nod to Coronavirus).
In addition, you must not be in breach of the immigration rules. This route permits dependants (partner, spouse and children (under the age of 18) ) to apply. This is not a route to settlement and it is a paid application.
PHD students get three years of permission to stay on this route and all other graduates get two years. The applications go live on 1 July 2021.
The Global Talent visa requires an endorsement by an organisation in the UK to testifying for the talent. The government has now announced that any prestige prizes can qualify the application without the endorsement such as Oscars, Golden Globes, Tony Awards, Hugo Boss Prize etc. the full list is in a new appendix - Global Talent Prestigious Prizes - coming into force on 5 May 2021.
The rules have been simplified and now involves three appendices, Appendix Overseas Domestic worker, Appendix worker in a private household, and Appendix Domestic worker victim of modern slavery.
Changes to Skilled Workers
The new subparagraph (b) is added to SW 8.2 which will now say:
SW 8.2. The salary for the job for which the applicant is being sponsored must equal or exceed all of the following:
- (a) £25,600 per year; and
- (b) £10.10 per hour; and
- (c) the going rate for the occupation code.
This means that the minimum salary threshold for skilled worker needs to be calculated by the hour, not just annually. Other changes are that the sponsors who think that the worker qualifies for one of the lower salary thresholds and want to reduce their pay will have to submit a fresh application to the Home Office.
Further, the changes confirming that large fishing vessels and chicken sexers can now be sponsored as skilled workers.
The shortage Occupation List has been extended the following roles now are added to the list :-
- 1181 Health services and public health managers and directors – all jobs.
- 1242 Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors – all jobs
- 3111 Laboratory technicians – all jobs
- 6146 Senior care workers – all jobs
- 2213 Pharmacists – all jobs
- 2219 Health professionals not elsewhere classified – all jobs
- 2221 Physiotherapists – all jobs
- 6141 Nursing auxiliaries and assistants – all jobs
Unfortunately for chefs as they are removed from the list however they can be sponsored under the skilled worker route.
The rules make it clear that any experience gained through working illegally must be disregarded when the job is assessed as requiring three or more years’ experience.
Changes to Appendix EU APP EU1
For paragraph EU5. substitute:
“EU5. Paragraphs 18 to 19A of the Immigration Rules (returning residents) do not apply to indefinite leave to enter or remain granted under this Appendix. A person granted such leave may resume their residence in the UK where, having been absent from the UK and Islands, that leave has not lapsed under article 13 of the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000.”.
The revised sub-paragraph (c)(ii) in the definition of “continuous qualifying period” in Annex 1 of Appendix EU:
- The person acquired the right of permanent residence in the UK under regulation 15 of the EEA Regulations (or, where there are reasonable grounds for the person’s failure to meet the deadline applicable to them in the entry for ‘required date’ in this table, would have acquired such a right had the EEA Regulations not been revoked), or the right of permanent residence in the Islands through the application there of section 7(1) of the Immigration Act 1988 or under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations of the Isle of Man; or
- the period relates to:
- a relevant EEA citizen, where, in relation to that EEA citizen, the applicant relies:
Hong Kong British Overseas nationals
- for all or part of the period to which sub-paragraph (b) of condition 3 in the table in paragraph EU11 of this Appendix refers (or, as the case may be, for part of the period to which sub-paragraph (b) of condition 3 in the table in paragraph EU12 refers) on having been a family member of a relevant EEA citizen; or
- (ii) on being or having been a family member who has retained the right of residence by virtue of a relationship with a relevant EEA citizen, provided (in any case) the period relating to that relevant EEA citizen continued (unless sub-paragraph (c)(i), (c)(ii)(aa), (c)(iii) or (c)(iv) of this entry applied to that relevant EEA citizen instead) either, as the case may be, throughout the period the applicant relies on in (i) as having been a family member of a relevant EEA citizen or, as relied on in (ii), until the applicant became a family member who has retained the right of residence by virtue of a relationship with a relevant EEA citizen; or
- a relevant sponsor, where, in relation to that relevant sponsor, the applicant relies for all or part of the period to which sub-paragraph (b) of condition 1 in the table in paragraph EU11A of this Appendix refers on having been (or, as the case may be, relies for all or part of the period to which sub-paragraph (b)(ii) of the condition in the table in paragraph EU14A refers on being) a family member who has retained the right of residence by virtue of a relationship with a relevant sponsor, provided (in either case) the period relating to that relevant sponsor continued (unless sub-paragraph (c)(i), (c)(ii)(aa), (c)(iii) or (c)(iv) of this entry applied to that relevant sponsor instead) until the applicant became a family member who has retained the right of residence by virtue of a relationship with a relevant sponsor.
A number of amendments have been made to BN (O) the most notable change is that they can apply to change the condition of their leave so that they can have recourse to public funds. They would have to show that they are destitute or at imminent risk of destitution which will allow them access to public funds.
The full guidance on the changes to immigration rules can be found here
Author Tamana Aziz
is a director in the business immigration department at Duncan Lewis. Her specialist practice includes immigration applications under EU law, business immigration under the Points Based System (PBS), complex appeals (including deportation and country guidance cases) in Immigration Tribunals, the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.