The UKVI had announced the statement of changes and the following is a summary of the changes:
- The EU Settlement Scheme is contained in Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules, and it provides the basis for various groups to apply for UK immigration status, which they will require in order to remain here permanently after the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. In particular, the scheme provides the basis for resident EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, and the family members of certain UK nationals, to apply for UK immigration status.
- Some of the existing Immigration Rules relating to the return of certain asylum applicants to safe third countries are drafted with specific reference to the Dublin Regulation and to EU membership. These Rules concern asylum applicants in the UK who have previously travelled through, claimed asylum or have been granted asylum in EU countries. In the event of a no-deal EU exit, these Dublin Regulation provisions
will no longer apply to the UK. The Rules change addresses this but ensures continuity of approach, by widening the scope of other third country Rules to deal with these cases.
- The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category is now closed to most initial applications but remains open to existing Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants. Minor drafting corrections are being made to the rules for this category.
- In some circumstances, an applicant may challenge a decision on their application or in respect of their leave by applying for administrative review. This instrument mandates online applications for administrative reviews where the original application was made on line. This is in line with the Government’s wider modernisation programme of ‘digital by default’. Paper applications for administrative review will remain possible for those who made their original valid application on paper.
- An amendment is being made so that the list of approved English language test providers will no longer appear in Appendix O and will instead be published on the gov.uk website. Appendix O is being removed as a result. Consequential changes are being made to Appendix A, Appendix Armed Forces, Appendix B, Appendix FMSE, Appendix KOLL and Appendix W to remove references to Appendix O.
- Amendments are being made so that applicants are no longer required to provide documents showing that they have sat an approved English Language Test but need only to provide the English Language Test unique reference number for checking.
- Tier 4 students studying at degree level or above are now permitted to apply to switch into the Tier 2 route within 3 months of the expected end date of their course, to facilitate such students taking up skilled work in the UK following the successful completion of their studies. A corresponding change is being made to the Tier 4
conditions of leave to allow such students to commence work with their Tier 2 sponsor if they have applied to switch into the Tier 2 route within 3 months of the expected end date of their course.
- A change is being made to allow Tier 4 students studying at masters’ and PhD level to commence a different course of study with their current sponsor during a period of leave, provided the other requirements for commencing such a course are met. This will also address an issue around instances of doctoral research qualifications changingfocus and the student being unable to obtain leave to remain to complete their course,
as they would not meet the requirement for academic progression. This change will remove the need for these students to make an application overseas.