New statement of changes to immigration rules released


On October 18, 2022, the Home Office issued a new statement on changes to immigration rules. The document sets out rule changes for several immigration categories, including some key routes for work visas. Below we outline some of the key amendments to the statement.

Widening of the route for seasonal workers

The seasonal worker pathway is expanded to include positions in the poultry production sector for the period of October 18 to December 31 of each year. This is to support the sector during a period of peak seasonal demand in the run up to Christmas.

This expansion will set specific wage requirements for poultry workers, ensuring that for roles that would qualify for the skilled worker pathway, wages for workers in those roles are not lower than what they would be paid in the part of this path.

Ukraine Extension Program Changes

The Ukraine Extension Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals who held leave to enter or stay in the UK on March 18, 2022 (or who held leave that expired on or after January 1, 2022) to continue their stay in the UK.

The statement of changes confirms an extension of the eligibility period, to allow Ukrainian nationals who are granted permission to enter or stay in the UK for any period between 18 March 2022 and 16 May 2023 to apply for the Ukrainian extension program and obtain a 36-month authorization. stay in the UK.

Ukrainian nationals who traveled to the UK without applying to one of the Ukrainian regimes were granted six months leave outside the border rules. If these people wish to remain in the UK, they must apply for an additional residence permit. Extending the eligibility period of Ukraine’s Extension Program will allow these individuals, as well as other Ukrainian nationals who arrived with clearance, to enter or stay on an alternate route after March 18, 2022, to obtain a longer residence permit and therefore greater certainty as to their immigration status.

An application deadline is also introduced, which means that anyone wishing to apply for the Ukraine Extension Program must do so before November 16, 2023. The introduction of an application deadline is intended to encourage people to apply for leave under the program to ensure that they maintain legal immigration status. .

The latest date on which a Ukrainian national with leave outside the rules of six months at the border would have a valid leave is 16 November 2023. Accordingly, this date has been chosen as the appropriate deadline for applications for the program extension of Ukraine.

Abolition of the police registration system

The statement of changes also formalizes the previously reported abolition of the police registration program. Previously, foreign nationals of specified nationalities aged 16 or over were required to register with the police if they had been granted leave for more than six months in certain immigration categories.

The statement justifies the abolition by explaining that the regime has not changed for many years and that the same data collected by the police is now already entered electronically by the Ministry of Interior at the visa application stage.

Changes to immigration rules and the wider immigration system since the scheme was introduced mean that more people are screened before traveling to the UK so that those affected can be identified earlier in their journey. interaction with the Ministry of the Interior. There is therefore no need for the police to collect the same data after a person has already entered the UK. In addition to creating duplication, once this information is seized by the police, it is retained indefinitely and is no longer accessed in the vast majority of cases.

Closing the program is supported by the police and will also reduce costs and administrative burden for both the police and the Home Office.

New countries can claim visa-free national status

Colombian, Guyanese and Peruvian citizens become visa-free nationals. This means they will no longer need to obtain a visit visa before coming to the UK and can be screened and allowed entry on arrival.

The risk of abusive immigration and criminality from these countries has steadily decreased over the past five years. Additionally, there are significant potential rewards for granting these nationalities visa-free national status, such as improved trade, diplomatic relations, and tourism.

Hong Kong BNO Route Changes

The British National Overseas (BNO) visa pathway first opened for applications on January 31, 2021 and provides a “pathway to British citizenship” for Hong Kong BNOs and their dependent family members.

Changes to this itinerary include a provision allowing children of BNO status holders to apply for a BNO visa independently (i.e. without needing to be part of their parent’s household or applying at the same time than them). This change will apply to those who:

  • have at least one BNO parent;
  • are 18 years of age or older;
  • were born on or after July 1, 1997; and
  • reside in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom or the Crown Dependencies.

Partners, dependent children and dependent adult parents of the adult child may also apply with them.

Global Talent Pathway Changes

The Global Talent category is for talented and promising people in the fields of science, digital technology and arts and culture wishing to work in the UK. Talent candidates are already leaders in their respective fields, while promising candidates have shown the potential to become leaders in their field.

The main changes to this category are as follows:

  • For arts and culture applications, evidence requirements are changed to require applicants to provide letters of support from organizations or individuals who have worked directly with the applicant and can therefore comment on their skills by their personal experience rather than by their reputation. This is to ensure that authors have first-hand knowledge of applicants’ work and to prevent the submission of more generic letters that do not adequately support a claim of exceptional talent or promise.
  • For digital technology applications, the evidence requirements are modified to require applicants to provide letters of support from individuals who have detailed knowledge of the applicant’s work over a period of at least 12 months. This is to ensure that authors are able to comprehensively review applicants’ work in a way that will support a claim of exceptional talent or promise.

Other minor changes include:

  • Global Talent Prestigious Awards List Updates
  • Updated Global Talent requirements to allow time spent representing a business overseas to be included in the rolling 3 or 5 year period for settlement.

Changes to terms and conditions of employment to allow eligible migrants to run for office

People in the UK holding certain types of visas have conditions attached to their leave which restrict their ability to work. A change is underway so that these conditions do not prevent migrants from standing for or holding elected office in local or devolved government.

Many people subject to immigration checks would not meet the eligibility criteria to stand for election under any immigration rules, but this change ensures that the UK meets its commitments to the countries with which we have reciprocal agreements regarding candidacy. Prior to this change, such cases had to be handled on a discretionary basis.

The change allows those with existing leave to remain who are eligible to run for and hold elected positions (including any associated work around running for office) when they are eligible to do so. However, it does not modify the rules for candidacy, which are the subject of separate regulations. Nor does it create a provision allowing someone to stay in the UK on the grounds of running for or holding elected office. Applicants subject to immigration control must have a separate basis of stay. For example, a skilled worker or student would need to continue doing the job or course for which they were sponsored, to maintain their current status, or they would need to change the immigration pathway for which they qualify.

Changes to global professional mobility routes

The Service Provider route is one of the five visa sub-categories of the Global Business Mobility route. You can apply for a service provider visa if you have a contract to provide services for a UK company, either as:

  • an employee of a foreign company
  • an independent professional based abroad.

A new rule is added to allow permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand to qualify under the service provider route when the services they provide are covered by free trade agreements with those countries . In addition, Australian nationals and permanent residents of Australia providing services under the Free Trade Agreement with Australia will be able to stay for up to 12 months at a time on the service providers route. These changes are necessary to implement the commitments the UK has now made in these free trade agreements.

New rules are being added to the route for service providers to ensure that provisions which enact commitments the UK has made in trade agreements can only be used where an agreement is in force or has been enforced as provisionally by the parties concerned to the agreement.

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