Updates to Personal Immigration Routes announced in latest Statement of Changes

The latest Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (HC 1248) was published on 4 March 2021 and as well as outlining amendments to business immigration routes, there are also key changes to personal immigration routes.  All of the changes will come into force on 1 April 2021. Our immigration team specialise in personal immigration visa applications. We are happy to arrange a consultation in order to conduct a case assessment and advise on the prospects of success under an applicable route in accordance with the Immigration Rules and how the latest changes can affect an application.

What changes to the EU Settlement Scheme have been outlined in the Statement of Changes?

The EU Settlement Scheme was set up to allow EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who were living in the UK by the end of the Transition Period (31 December 2020), as well as their family members, to continue to live, work and study in the UK. The EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit allows certain family members of these EU, EEA and Swiss nationals to travel to the UK. The main changes outlined in the Statement of Changes relate to the suitability requirements for the EU Settlement Scheme and EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit.

The main change is in respect of the suitability provisions of the EUSS and the EUSS family permit. According to the Statement of Changes, an application under the EU Settlement Scheme can be refused if the Applicant’s presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good because of poor conduct committed after the end of the Transition Period (after 31 December 2020).

The main changes in respect of the eligibility requirements for the EU Settlement Scheme are summarised as follows:

  • Non-EEA family members applying to the EU Settlement Scheme will be able to rely on a Family Permit issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (“EEA Regulations”) as a document evidencing the genuine relationship to the EU, EEA or Swiss sponsor where the family permit:
    • was issued on the basis of an application made under the EEA Regulations before 1 July 2021 (excluding if the application is from an extended family member as these applications must be made by the end of the Transition Period); or
    • has expired since the end of the Transition Period and before an application under the EU Settlement Scheme, where the Applicant arrived in the UK after the end of that period (unless they are an unmarried, durable partner or an extended family member dependent relative) and before 1 July 2021;
  • Family members of EU, EEA or Swiss nationals who were continuously resident in the UK with their family member before the end of the Transition Period, are entitled to submit an application made on or after 1 July 2021 under Appendix EU if that prior residence of the EU, EEA or Swiss national;
  • Applicants applying to the EU Settlement Scheme on or after 1 July 2021 as the joining family member of a relevant sponsor continuously resident in the UK before the end of the Transition Period are permitted to rely on that prior residence of the relevant sponsor (regardless of whether that relevant sponsor has status under the EU Settlement Scheme or, but for the fact they are a British citizen where they are one, could have qualified for it);
  • Applicants relying on having reasonable grounds for missing the deadline applicable to them under the Scheme can apply directly to the EU Settlement Scheme so that the Home Office can consider those grounds in assessing their eligibility.

Other main changes in respect of the EU Settlement Scheme include allowing EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit Applicants to rely on alternative evidence of identity and nationality in circumstances where the Applicant is unable to obtain or produce the required document due to compelling and compassionate circumstances beyond their control.

What changes for Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) have been outlined in the Statement of Changes?

Amendments have been made to Appendix Hong Kong British National (Overseas) to allow Applicants who have overstayed in the defined period prior to the route opening and then who have successfully applied for the British National (Overseas) route to apply for settlement and not be refused for failing to meet the lawful residence requirement.

Changes also enable access to public funds where an Applicant who is in the UK on the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) route later becomes destitute or is at imminent risk of destitution and successfully applies for a change of conditions.

Furthermore, in circumstances where an Applicant has granted Leave Outside the Rules for 12 months where their British National (Overseas) application was refused, they must meet the maintenance requirement when they subsequently apply for the British National (Overseas) route.

What are the changes to English language requirement in the Statement of Changes?

The Statement of Changes includes minor amendments for family route Applicants demonstrating the English language requirement. Applicants will be permitted to rely on having proved their English language ability to the required level in a previously successful application for entry clearance or leave to remain.

How our Immigration Solicitors in London can help with a personal immigration application

Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in personal immigration matters and prepare such applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting UK visa applications for a range of different clients.

The key to submitting successful personal immigration applications is being aware of the relevant Immigration Rules. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the supporting documents to ensure that the correct evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the online application, arranging the biometric appointments and uploading the supporting documents.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a successful personal immigration application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to apply for a new Student Visa. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet 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, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful personal 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 prospects of submitting a UK Visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a UK Visa application.

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 to discuss an application to the Home Office.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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