On 18 October 2022 the government published a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules. Although there is no sign yet of any new scheme to replace the Investor scheme which the government withdrew earlier in the year, we highlight the main changes below.
Changes to the Ukraine Extension Scheme
These changes are aimed at offering greater clarification in respect to immigration status and periods of stay in the UK for Ukrainian nationals.
Ukrainian nationals who held permission to enter, or stay in the UK on 18 March 2022, or those who held permission that expired on or after 1 January 2022, are permitted to continue their stay in the UK.
The statement of changes extends the eligibility period for Ukrainian nationals who obtained permission to enter or stay in the UK between 18 March 2022 and 16 May 2023, to apply for the Ukraine Extension Scheme which would grant permission to stay in the UK for a period of 36 months. The deadline to make an application under the Ukrainian Extension Scheme is 16 November 2023. The deadline has been set to ensure lawful immigration status is maintained.
New countries qualify for non-visa national status
Citizens of Guyana, Columbia and Peru will no longer need a visa to enter the UK from 9 November 2022, giving them a new ‘non-visa national’ status.
Changes to Global Business Mobility Routes
Reinforcing commitments to recent trade agreements, the UK has introduced an additional rule to the Global Business Mobility routes. Residents of Australia and New Zealand can now qualify under the Service Supplier Route where the services they provide are covered by the free trade agreement held with those countries. Under this route, and assuming that the service provision criteria can be met, Australian nationals and permanent residents of Australia will be able to stay in the UK for 12 months at a time, although the statement of changes does not confirm how long Australian nationals would need to wait before reapplying for entry.
Changes to the Global Talent route
The Global Talent route is aimed at high-flying individuals wishing to work in the fields of science, digital technology and the arts. The changes brought in by the statement of changes will serve to tighten up the documentary evidence requirements under this route.
Arts and Culture applications will now be required to provide additional letters of support from individuals / organisations with which they have worked directly, testifying directly to the specific skills and experience of the applicant. General letters of support about the applicant’s potential and talent will no longer be acceptable.
Digital technology applicants will also now be required to submit letters of support from individuals / organisations providing detailed knowledge of their work and skills over a period of at least 12 months.
Other notable changes
- In response to dissatisfaction with the current rules, Appendix Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (HK BN(O)) has been updated to enable children of BN(O) status holders to apply for the BN(O) route independently, without having to form part of their parents’ household or having to apply at the same time as their family members;
- The statement confirms that the Seasonal Worker Route has been broadened to include roles in the poultry production sector from 18 October to 31 December each year, to help support higher demand during this period. Specific salary requirements will be set, which will be in line with the relevant salary requirements set under the Skilled Worker route;
- Individuals on a standard visitor visa or the permitted paid engagement route will no longer be able to apply to switch to the Temporary Work – Creative Worker route from within the UK; and
- Lastly, the Statement also confirms the removal of the requirement for certain nationalities to register with the police from 4 August 2022. For many applicants, this has been a rather time consuming task and this change will be warmly welcomed. The Home Office has recognised that data is already recorded electronically by the Home Office at the visa application stage anyway and so additional police registration is simply unnecessary.
For further information please contact our immigration team.