The Home Office has introduced a new statement of changes (HC 1118) which provides some interesting and, hopefully, helpful changes in the Immigration World.
This article is intended to be a non-exhaustive and brief summary of the most significant changes with a specific focus on family/private life and to the business Immigration World in the statement of changes HC 1118.
All the new rules discussed below will apply to applications made on or after 20 June 2022.
Shortly put Paragraph 276ADE(1) is going to be replaced by a new Appendix Private Life and, at the same time, the requirements for ILR on the ten-year family route are being put into two other new appendices: Appendix Settlement Family Life and Appendix Relationship with Partner.
The changes being made primarily deliver:
• Introducing a new Appendix Private Life which replaces the current private life rules in Part 7 and puts the rules into the new simplified format. In addition to simplification, this new appendix introduces a number of changes for children and young people, including bringing the concession on early settlement, introduced on 20 October 2021, into the rules.
The new Appendix Private Life retains the four grounds on which permission can be granted based on private life. As a reminder, these are:
be a child resident in the UK for at least seven years who cannot reasonably be expected to leave (‘seven-year children’), which will now be paragraph PL 3.1;
be aged 18 to 24 and resident here for at least half their life (‘young adults’), now PL 4.1;
be resident here for more than 20 years, PL 5.1(a); and
face very significant obstacles to integration in their country of return, PL 5.1(b). (As before, an asylum claimant who the Home Office wishes to remove to a “safe third country” can’t rely on obstacles to integration.) /not be reasonable to expect them to leave the UK.
• Introducing a new Appendix Settlement Family Life. This puts the rules for settlement by partners and parents who must complete a 10-year qualifying period in the UK into a new simplified and shorter format.
However, please note that Appendix Settlement Family Life introduces a new “continuous residence requirement” for ILR as a partner or parent on the ten-year route. Where previously there was no need for applicants to have spent a certain amount of time physically in the UK, now they are limited to a maximum of 180 days’ absence in any 12-month period.
• Introducing a new Appendix Relationship with a Partner, which will provide greater consistency in the way applicants prove a relationship with a partner. Initially it applies only to Appendix Settlement Family Life.
Appendix Relationship with Partner replaces the relationship requirements in Appendix FM for those seeking ILR on the ten-year partner route. However, the explanatory memorandum expresses an intention to extend it to “other routes” in the future. It appears that it only rewords the existing relationship requirements, and does not add anything new of substance. Interestingly, though, it removes the need to show intention to live together permanently in the UK.
The changes being made primarily deliver:
• Introducing Plan for Growth changes, including the launch of the High Potential Individual (HPI) route and Scale-up route and the new Global Business Mobility routes.
The High Potential Individual route is a new route that delivers the intention to “introduce 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”. Applicants in this route must have either a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree qualification from one of the top global universities outside the UK as published in the Global Universities List by the Home Office, awarded during the last 5 years from the date of application. The list will be compiled on an annual basis and consists of eligible non-UK institutions that are included in the list of the top 50 universities. Permission will be granted for a period of 2 years for applicants relying on a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s or Master’s level degree; or for 3 years where the applicant holds a qualification equivalent to a UK PhD.
The Scale-up route is a new route that delivers the intention to allow those with a job offer at the required skills level from a recognised UK scale-up to qualify for a fast-track visa.
Applicants in this route must have a sponsored job offer from an authorised UK scale-up company. 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. The Government will consider further ways in which scale-up companies may be able to register for this route in due course. The job offer above must be skilled to graduate level (RQF 6 and equivalent) and be paid an appropriate salary – at least £33,000 per year or the going rate for the particular occupation, whichever is higher.
Permission will be granted for 2 years. To extend their permission to stay applicants must have PAYE earnings of at least £33,000 per year for at least 50% of their time in the route. Extensions will be granted for 3 years. The route leads to settlement. Applicants will need to have PAYE earnings of at least £33,000 in 24 months of the 3-year period immediately prior to their application for settlement, as well as the standard settlement requirements relating to 5 years’ continuous residence and demonstrating knowledge of life in the UK.
The Global Business Mobility routes are a new category of sponsored routes for overseas businesses seeking to establish a presence in, or transfer staff to, the UK for specific business purposes. There will be five routes that correspond to different assignment types which are set out below:
Senior or Specialist Worker The Senior or Specialist Worker route is for senior managers or specialist employees who are being assigned to a UK business linked to their employer overseas. This route replaces the Intra-Company Transfer route, and thus the Appendix Intra-Company Routes is being deleted.
Graduate Trainee The Graduate Trainee route is for workers on a graduate training course leading to a senior management or specialist position and who are required to do a work placement in the UK. This route replaces the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route: Appendix Intra-Company Routes is being deleted.
UK Expansion Worker The UK Expansion Worker route is for senior managers or specialist employees who are being assigned to the UK to undertake work related to a business’s expansion to the UK. This route replaces the Sole Representative provisions in the Representative of an Overseas Business route.
Service Supplier The Service Supplier route is for contractual service suppliers employed by an overseas service provider and self-employed independent professionals based overseas, that need to undertake an assignment in the UK to provide services covered by one of the UK’s international trade commitments. This route replaces the contractual service supplier and independent professional provisions in the Temporary Work – International Agreement route.
Secondment Worker The Secondment Worker route is for workers being seconded to the UK as part of a high-value contract or investment by their employer overseas. This is a new route in the Immigration Rules.
Our thoughts on the matter
It appears that the Home Office intends to revolutionise the Business Immigration system to face the new challenges of a Post-Brexit Britain and that it has sent a strong worldwide message to show apparent flexibility and swiftness in change.
More importantly, the Home Office, in an attempt to keep their promise to simplify the Immigration Rules, has finally provided some positive amendments for all the people “stuck” in the Private Life route.
IF YOU THINK THAT THESE CHANGES MAY AFFECT YOU OR GIVE YOU A NEW OPPORTUNITY, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU SEEK LEGAL ADVICE FROM A TEAM OF EXPERTS!!!
AT CITY HEIGHTS WE WILL GUIDE AND ACCOMPANY YOU THROUGH THOSE IMPORTANT CHANGES