Hi, we hope that you will find the following information useful in respect to the new changes to the immigration policies:
- Some changes are being made to the Immigration Rules for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), contained in Appendix EU, and for the EUSS family permit and travel permit, contained in Appendix EU (Family Permit). The EUSS enables EU, other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens living in the UK (and referred to collectively here as ‘EEA citizens’), and their family members, to obtain the UK immigration status they need to remain in the UK, with the same rights to work, study and access benefits and services as they had before the UK left the EU. The EUSS family permit and travel permit enable certain non-EEA citizen family members of a resident EEA citizen to travel to the UK.
- To extend the scope for victims of domestic violence or abuse to apply for status under the EUSS. In line with the Withdrawal Agreement and the Free Movement Directive, this is currently limited to a former spouse or civil partner whose marriage or civil partnership has been legally terminated and who was a victim of domestic violence or abuse while the marriage or civil partnership was subsisting. Consistent with the Government’s wider commitment to tackling domestic violence or abuse and protecting victims of it, the changes will mean that any family member within the scope of the EUSS (a spouse, civil partner, durable partner, child, dependent parent or dependent relative) whose family relationship with a relevant EEA citizen (or with a qualifying British citizen) has broken down permanently as a result of domestic violence or abuse will have a continued right of residence where this is warranted by domestic violence or abuse against them or another family member. They will be able to rely on this, together with their own continuous residence in the UK, in
applying for status under the EUSS.
Changes to the Start-up and Innovator categories
- The Start-up and Innovator categories are for business founders who have been endorsed by approved bodies as having innovative, viable and scalable business ideas.
- Changes are being made to make it clearer that, to be endorsed, applicants must be founders of their businesses and be relying on their own business plans. These changes also clarify that an Innovator applicant’s business may be already trading, providing they were one of its founders.
- A provision is being added for decision makers to request further information or evidence from applicants or their endorsing bodies, if they have concerns that an endorsement has been issued inappropriately, and to refuse applications if they are not satisfied the endorsement criteria have been met.
- The “viability” criteria are being amended to also require that a business plan must be realistic and achievable based on the applicant’s available resources.
- The policy around applicants who wish to change their business venture, previously only set out in guidance for endorsing bodies, is being added to the Immigration Rules.
- This sets out that applicants may change business venture, providing their endorsing body is satisfied the new venture meets all of the criteria for endorsement. The applicant does not need to obtain a fresh endorsement or make a fresh application.
- The Global Talent category is for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, digital technology and arts and culture wishing to work in the UK. ‘Talent’ applicants are already leaders in their respective field, while ‘promise’ applicants have shown the potential to become leaders in their field.
- Applicants who already hold leave under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) who want to extend their stay must apply under the extension requirements for the Global Talent category, rather than obtaining a new endorsement from an Endorsing Body. Changes have been made to the Immigration Rules to clarify this.
- The criteria for consideration by the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT) allows some applicants to provide evidence of awards from the 10 years before the date of application. An erroneous requirement limiting evidence to being from the last five years has therefore been removed.
Tier 2 Intra-company transfer – Removal of transitional settlement provisions
- An amendment is being made that relates to the implementation of the April 2010 policy change that ended settlement for intra-company transferees. A transitional measure ensured that migrants sponsored as a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) migrant prior to 6 April 2010 could still qualify and apply for indefinite leave to remain.
- As more than nine years has passed since the change in policy, all migrants eligible for this transitional arrangement have now either gained settlement or left the UK.
- Consequently, the transitional rules have been deleted.
Changes relating to family life
- A technical amendment to clarify that leave as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner is to enable the marriage or civil partnership to take place in the UK.
- Clarification that the spent period at the leave to remain stage for applicants under the family rules who have been convicted and sentenced to a period of imprisonment for a period between 12 months to four years is 10 years. This is to coincide with spent periods that are stipulated at the entry clearance and indefinite leave to remain stages respectively.
- To include provisions for 10 different accounting organisations where membership enables the accountant to provide evidence under the rules. Four of the organisations are members of a UK supervisory body. The other six organisations are not but have previously satisfied the requirements for suitable supervision of their member accountants.
- The current Appendix FM-SE is more prescriptive than the rules set out in Appendix A, as it limits accountancy bodies to the UK Supervisory Body and currently only allows an exception of the Institute of Financial Accountants. This change has been made to incorporate the other five organisations.