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BIG IMPORTANT CHANGES in the UK Immigration Rules: Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: HC

16 March 2022 – Just useful and interesting UK & EEA Immigration Law news and updates from the Legal Centre – Open 7 days a week - www.legalcentre.org - +44(0)3300010342, +44(0)7791145923 (WhatsApp/Viber)

>>> BIG IMPORTANT CHANGES in the UK Immigration Rules: Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1118 (15 March 2022)

See full details at https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2022-03-15/hcws680

The changes shall take effect on various dates, including 6 April 2022, at 09:00 on 11 April 2022, 09:00 on 30 May 2022, 20 June 2022, and 22 August 2022.

MOST IMPORTANT CHANGES

1. The introduction of the new Global Business Mobility routes

• Graduate Trainee, replacing the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route;
• Secondment Worker, a new route for "overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is being seconded to the UK as part of a high value contract or investment by their employer overseas";
• Senior or Specialist Worker, replacing the Intra-Company Transfer route;
• Service Supplier, replacing the contractual service supplier and independent professional provisions in the Temporary Worker - International Agreement route;
• UK Expansion Worker, replacing the Sole Representative provisions in the Representative of an Overseas Business route.

2. Amendment to Appendix Representative of an Overseas Business to remove provision for Sole Representatives to make initial applications (Media Representatives can continue to make initial applications and both Media and Sole Representatives can continue to make extension and settlement applications).

3. The introduction of the new Appendix High Potential Individual (HPI) route, which will allow graduates from non-UK universities listed as top 50 on at least two ranking systems (the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, or The Academic Ranking of World Universities) to come unsponsored for two years if they hold a qualification awarded in the five years prior to the date of application that is equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s or Master’s level degree, or three years if they hold a qualification equivalent to a UK PhD.

4. The introduction of a new Appendix Scale-up, which follows the commitment in the Plan for Growth an elite points-based route to attract the brightest and best to the UK to maintain our status as a leading international hub for emerging technologies”. The Explanatory Memorandum provides that to “To register for this route, a company will need to demonstrate that they have an annualised growth of at least 20% for the previous 3-year period in terms of turnover or staffing. Companies will also need to have had a minimum of 10 employees at the start of this 3-year period.” Once a scale-up has an A-rated licence, they can issue a CoS and sponsor migrants for 6 months in occupations skilled to at least RQF level 6, with a salary that is equal to or exceeds: £33,000 per year, the going rate for the occupation code, and £10.58 per hour. There is no immigration skills charge. Migrants will be granted entry clearance or permission to stay for 2 years initially. Scale-up workers can switch to different sponsored roles in the first 6 months. After 6 months, they do not need to be sponsored, but to extend for three years they must have had monthly PAYE earnings in the UK of at least £33,000 per year during at least 50% of their permission as a Scale-up Worker. To settle, they must have earned this during at least 24 months of the 3 years immediately before the date of application.

5. Introduction of the new Appendix Settlement Family Life, new Appendix Private Life, and a new Appendix Relationship with a Partner:

• Appendix Settlement Family Life seeks to simplify the settlement rules for those with permission as a partner or parent under Appendix FM and who are eligible to settle in the UK after a qualifying period of 10 years. It permits different periods of leave as a partner, parent, on a private life route, or with leave outside the Rules to be combined without resetting the clock. Leave on other routes can be counted if a person did not enter illegally, and had permission as a partner or parent under Appendix FM for at least one year. Persons with leave as parents of a child under Appendix FM can also settle once their child has turned 18. However, note the introduction of continuous residence requirements and amendments to Appendix Continuous Residence.

• Appendix Private Life will replace paragraph 276ADE(1). New requirements mean children resident for 7 years whom it would not be reasonable to expect to leave the UK, and young adults under the age of 25 who have spent at least half their life continuously resident in the UK can be eligible to settlement after 5 years, bringing the concession on early settlement introduced on 20 October 2021 into the Rules. There are also requirements for private life grants to adults continuously resident in the UK for more than 20 years, and those resident for less than 20 years if there would be very significant obstacles to the applicant’s integration into the country where they would have to live if required to leave the UK. Applicants can be granted either 30 or 60 months' leave.
• Both Appendix Settlement Family Life and Appendix Private Life introduce new stricter validity requirements (as paragraph 34 will not apply) and mandatory suitability requirements (which go beyond the suitability criteria in Appendix FM).
• Appendix Relationship with a Partner is described in the Explanatory Memorandum as: “a new cross-cutting Appendix that will include the requirements to show a relationship with a partner. Initially this Appendix will apply only to proof of relationship with a partner under Appendix Settlement Family Life, but in future it will be extended to other routes to apply consistent requirements”.

6. Changes to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and EUSS family permit, including:

• Provisions in the Rules for variation of applications where a valid application has been made but not yet decided under Appendix EU;
• Adjustments to suitability requirements;
• "To bring within the Rules the current concession arrangements for an EUSS family permit to be issued in place of an EEA family permit (and relied upon in a subsequent EUSS application) where an EEA family permit would have been issued (including on appeal) to a dependent relative extended family member, or a person with a derivative right to reside, had the route not closed after 30 June 2021", and to allow those arriving to start their qualifying period of continuous residence in the UK after the end of the transition period;
• "To bring within the Rules the current concession arrangements for an appropriate letter to be issued by the Secretary of State in place of an EEA residence card (and relied upon in a subsequent EUSS application) where an EEA residence card would have been issued (including on appeal) to an extended family member had the route not closed after 30 June 2021."
• To enable ‘Lounes’ dual nationals "to sponsor relevant family members under the EUSS and the EUSS family permit notwithstanding the fact that they acquired British citizenship without having met free movement requirements to have held comprehensive sickness insurance in the UK as a student or self-sufficient person".

7. Changes to Appendix Student, Appendix Short-term Student and Appendix Graduate, including but not limited to changes in relation to work conditions, financial requirements, work placement requirements, and academic progression for students.

8. Changes to Appendix Continuous Residence in relation to absences. It will apply to Appendix Scale-up, Appendix Private Life (settlement only) and Appendix Settlement Family Life.
• Under CR 2.5 transitional measures are in place: "Absences before 20 June 2022 will not be counted when calculating the continuous residence period for settlement applications under Appendix Settlement Family Life if the applicant was subsequently granted permission as a partner or parent under Appendix FM or under paragraph 276ADE or 276BE(2), following those absences"; and
• For an applicant under Appendix Settlement Family Life, under CR 2.3(g) "absences for work, study or supporting family overseas, so long as the family have throughout the period of absence maintained a family life in the UK and the UK remained their place of permanent residence" will not count towards the180 day limit.

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