Latest immigration updates on UK

01Feb

The Home Office published its New Plan for Immigration 2021/2022 setting out details of the government’s delivery priorities for this period. The ‘New plan for immigration 2021/2022’ strategy statement, outlines the government’s intentions to build on reforms introduced last year and further transform the UK immigration system.

The UK government aims to provide a streamlined and seamless experience for people coming to the UK, whilst ensuring national security

COVID-19 Concessions:

Throughout the current pandemic, the Home Office have published COVID-19 concessions by way of guidance, which can be changed at will. A few of these concessions are to be formally introduced into the Immigration Rules, providing more security to those affected, including:

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holders, who were granted an extension under the concession and wish to apply for settlement, will need to show they have created 4 jobs each lasting 12 months or 2 jobs each lasting 24 months
  • Skilled Worker and Sportsperson migrants – for applicants who were in another visa category, and applied to “switch” into one of these between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2021, it may now be possible to count the decision-making time towards settlement
  • EU Settlement Scheme – the late concession/guidance relating to excessive absences issued shortly before the deadline of 30 June 2021 is being incorporated

Other Changes:

Key reforms will be introduced to immigration routes in 2021 as part of the government’s plan to ‘Build Back Better.’ The new targeted reforms will help to attract and retain highly skilled people, particularly in academia, science, research, and technology.

Below are some changes:

  • Evidence of identity and nationality requirements: 

From October 1, 2021, individuals will only be able to enter the United Kingdom using their passport. National identity cards will no longer be accepted, unless they are a European Economic Area (EEA) national with a pending application or visa under the EU Settlement Scheme or Frontier Worker Permit Scheme.

Impact: EEA nationals have been able to enter the United    Kingdom using their national identification card.  From October 1, 2021, they have not been able to do this.

  • New International Sportsperson route and rebranding of the Tier 5 routes:
  • The new International Sportsperson route will replace the T2 and T5 Temporary Worker routes for professional athletes with simplified, dedicated visa arrangements.
  • The new route will continue to offer a dedicated option for those seeking to stay in the United Kingdom for 12 months or less but will combine the T2 and T5 offers into one dedicated category.
  • The Tier 5 Temporary Worker routes are being rebranded with the launch of new application forms and all references to the old T5 system will be removed.
Impact:

These changes streamline the rules for entry to the United Kingdom as an athlete.

  • Global Talent Route: 

The evidential requirements for digital technology endorsements are being amended to:

  • Include being a board member of a product-led digital technology company as a role that can be used to evidence an exceptional talent in this field.
  • Reduce the number of examples required for each of the exceptional promise criteria from at least two to at least one.
  • The list of “Prestigious Prizes” has been significantly expanded, particularly related to science, engineering, humanities and medicine.
Impact:

These changes will lower the barriers to entry and increase the number of applicants to the Global Talent visa route.

  • Youth Mobility Scheme:

Effective January 1, 2022, this route will be rebranded and named the Youth Mobility Scheme.

  • Iceland is being added to the Youth Mobility scheme country list as a country without Deemed Sponsorship Status with an allocation of 1,000 places.
  • India is being added to the list of countries where invitation to apply arrangements apply (similar to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong) with 3,000 places respectively.

Impact: This will open up access to the Youth Mobility scheme to applicants from more countries

  • Global Business Mobility:

Creating a single, sponsored route by Spring 2022 which will simplify the UK immigration offer for business by bringing together, reforming and expanding a number of existing routes that exist for this purpose.

  • Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy:

Changes are being made to existing rules relating to Afghan citizens under the, as well as the ex-gratia scheme. The Home Office has also published the Afghanistan resettlement and immigration policy statement, as well as promotional material called Next steps in the UK: immigration information for people evacuated from Afghanistan, although these do not form part of the Immigration Rules.

  • Unsponsored points-based route :

Introducing a new, to attract the brightest and best to the UK in Spring 2022. This route will place particular emphasis on the very high skilled and academically elite.

ü    Border and security:

Priti Patel said that ‘security is at the very heart’ of our New Plan for Immigration 2021/2022. The main policy changes which apply to most routes are:

  • applying mandatory grounds for refusal on grounds of criminality to serious and persistent criminals whose presence is not conducive to the public good, to ensure the UK is protected from those who pose the greatest threat to society.
  • refusing entry to anyone seeking to enter as a visitor or coming to the UK for less than 6 months if they have received a custodial sentence of less than 12 months or a non-custodial sentence such as community service unless a period of at least 12 months has passed.
  • EEA:

Except in prescribed cases, EEA nationals will no longer be allowed to use their valid national identity card for entry to the UK – they will need to use a valid passport

OTHER POINTS TO NOTE:

Other immigration and related news/cases you might want to take a note of include:

  • The temporary changes to right to work checks that were due to end on 31 August 2021, have now been deferred to 5 April 2022.
  • The Confederation of British Industry calls on the Immigration Rules to be relaxed to ease labour shortages, for example in hospitality, food processing, and logistics
  • The government has announced temporary visas for up to 5,000 HGV drivers and up to 5,500 temporary visas for poultry workers

Novaturient is a Licensed Immigration consultant that offer Visa services in acquiring Permanent Resident Visa, Student Visa and Visit Visa for countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Schengen Countries and the UK.

Call us: 9731473738
Email: info@novaturientvisas.com

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