On 14 May 2020, the Home Office released its latest Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules. The Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules are typically published 4 times a year and it sets out all of the changes to the Immigration Rules, including the introduction or retirement of visa routes and amendments to the rules and requirements in existing routes. All the new changes will take effect from 4 June 2020 except for those related to the EU Settlement Scheme which will be implemented on 24 August 2020. Our Immigration Solicitors in London are regularly kept up to date with the changes to the UK’s Immigration Rules as soon as they are implemented. Therefore, Applicants who are about to submit a UK visa application should contact our Immigration Team for a legal consultation to ensure all of the correct rules and requirements are met. This is to avoid an application being refused, thus making any further application automatically more complex.
What are the changes to the EU Settlement Scheme?
There have been some minor changes to the EU Settlement Scheme under the Immigration Rules Appendix EU. The Settlement Scheme is for EEA nationals and their family members to secure their visa status in the UK following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. The EU Settlement Scheme allows Applicants to study, work and live in the UK as well as access certain benefits. The EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit and travel permit allow certain non-EEA family members of a resident EEA national to travel to the UK in order to join them. The main changes to the Settlement Scheme are:
- Eligible family members of citizens of Northern Ireland will be able to apply for UK immigration status, under the EU Settlement Scheme on the same terms as the family members of Irish citizens in the UK. This immigration status will be available to the family members of all the people of Northern Ireland, no matter whether the person of Northern Ireland holds British or Irish citizenship or both;
- The scope for victims of domestic violence to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme has been extended. Currently, this is 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. However, changes include any family members – i.e. spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, child, dependent relative. All family members will have a continued right of residence where there was domestic abuse from the EEA national family member;
- Continuous rights of residence in circumstances following the legal termination of a marriage or civil partnership to the EEA national sponsor (as is the case under the EEA Regulations);
- Non-EEA national family members are required to provide a certified English translation of documents (where documents not in English have been provided in support of the application) in order to properly satisfy the Eligibility requirements; and
- Paper applications to be submitted via email rather than by post.
What are the changes to the Start-up and Innovator Visas?
The Start-up and Innovator visa categories under the Immigration Rules Appendix W: Immigration Rules for Workers replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur categories under the Points Based System. These categories are for business people who have been endorsed by approved endorsement body as having innovative, viable and scalable business ideas.
One of the main changes make it clearer that in order for an Applicant to be endorsed, they 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 the Applicant was one of its founders. Other amendments to these visas include:
- A provision for decision makers to request further evidence from Applicants or their endorsing bodies if they have concerns that an endorsement has been issued inappropriately. Applications will be refused if the Home Office is not satisfied that the endorsement criteria have been properly met;
- Amendments to the “viability” criteria that requires business plans to be realistic and achievable based on the Applicant’s available resources;
- An Applicant does not need to get a new endorsement if they wish to change their business venture providing the endorsement body is satisfied the new business venture meets all the criteria for the endorsement (previously contained in the guidance for endorsement bodies and now introduced into the Immigration Rules);
- Changes have been made to the criteria for becoming an endorsement body including Government Departments now able to become an endorsement body; and
- Verification of maintenance funds with financial institutions listed in Appendix P to the Immigration Rules.
What are the changes to the Global Talent Visa?
The Global Talent Visa is new newest category under the Immigration Rules Appendix W and it is an extension of the former Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route. This visa allows for talented and promising individuals from outside the EEA whose fields include science, digital technology, and arts and culture to come to the UK to work in their field. Key changes to the Global Talent route include:
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.
- Letters of recommendation have been restricted to three sides of A4, excluding the credentials of the author. This ensures that all supporting evidence focuses on the key skills and contributions of the Applicant and prevents Applicants providing lengthy letters of recommendation to circumvent other restrictions on the amount of evidence which can be provided;
- Tech Nation has requested that Applicants in the field of Digital Technology are allowed to demonstrate key and qualifying criteria on three A4 pages (increased from two A4 pages) to ensure consistency with the maximum length of a CV;
- UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has requested two amendments to the Rules:
- a further acceptable host organisation under its endorsed funder route; and
- the clarification that the confirmation of the award must come from the endorsed funder rather than the host organisation.
- The Royal Society, British Academy and Royal Academy of Engineering requested the clarification that research experience equivalent to a PhD includes industrial and clinical research for both exceptionally talented and exceptionally promising applicants;
A number of technical changes and minor amendments to evidential criteria for letters of support have also been made applying to arts and culture Applicants; including fashion design.
What are the changes to a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa?
The Representative of an Overseas Business (Sole Representative) visa category is for employees of overseas businesses which do not have a presence in the UK, to be sent to establish a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of that business in the UK. Some of the changes to this category are as follows:
- Overseas businesses are prevented from sending a representative to facilitate entry to the UK where there is no genuine intention for them to establish a business presence in the UK;
- Clarification that overseas businesses must be active and trading and intend to maintain their principal place of business outside the UK;
- Applicants must have the skills, experience, knowledge and authority to represent the overseas business in the UK;
- Clarification that Applicants must be senior employees and cannot engage in their own business or represent any other business in the UK;
- Majority owners are prevented from entering the UK as the dependent spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner of a representative of their own business. This will prevent owners circumventing the rules intended to prevent them relocating their business to the UK under this route;
- For extension criteria it is clarified that the branch or subsidiary must have been established in the UK, and not overseas.
You can read the full Statement of Changes May 2020 here: Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules CP 232 May 2020| LEXVISA Immigration Solicitors in London
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit successful UK Visas and Immigration Applications
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit success applications under the Immigration Rules.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful UK Visas and Immigration Applications with our Immigration Solicitors in London
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.