On 10 September, the government published a new Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules. The majority of the changes are due to take effect on 6 October 2021.
Key changes include:
- The implementation on 1 October 2021 of the government’s decision to no longer allow EEA and Swiss nationals to enter the UK using a national ID card. You can find out more about this change in our previous article here.
- From 6 October 2021 the Immigration Rules will allow family members, as defined under the EU Settlement Scheme (‘EUSS’), who are in the UK as a visitor to make an application under the EUSS from within the UK. This is currently implemented as a concession.
- A new category called ‘International Sportsperson’ will go live on 11 October 2021. This will replace the existing sportsperson categories within the current sponsorship system.
- A number of changes are being made which should make the Global Talent route more attractive, including an expansion to the list of prestigious prizes. These changes will come into force on 6 October 2021.
- The visitor route is being expanded from 6 October 2021. Student nurses and research students will be able to enter the UK as visitors as part of their studies or research. Employees of overseas manufacturers and suppliers will be able to enter the UK as visitors to provide services relating to after-sales.
- From 6 October 2021, the Tier 5 Temporary Worker routes are being rebranded, in line with the move away from referencing ‘tiers’. For example, ‘T5 (Temporary Worker) Youth Mobility Scheme’ is being rebranded as the ‘Youth Mobility Scheme’.
- From 1 January 2022, India and Iceland will be included within the Youth Mobility Scheme.
- Changes to how the Home Office will deal with applications from Afghan Locally Supported Staff and their family members are being introduced.
A number of concessions that have been introduced as a result of the pandemic are being incorporated into the Immigration Rules, as follows:
- for those under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route who were unable to satisfy the requirement for two full-time jobs;
- for those who have excessive absences under the EUSS (pre-settled status); and
- for those under the Skilled Worker and Tier 2 (Sportsperson) routes who need to include the time they spent waiting for a decision on their application towards the five year requirement for ILR.
Does travel withdraw an application?
The Statement confirms that an application for permission to stay in the UK will be considered as withdrawn by the Home Office on the date of the application if the applicant travels outside the Common Travel Area.
This reiterates the Home Office’s position that applicants must not travel outside the Common Travel Area during the processing of their application if they do not want their application to be placed at risk. The legal position on this had become complicated by the fact that applicant’s were able to retain their passports during the application process, meaning they could physically leave the UK.
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