UK Immigration Update: Changes for Tier 1, Tier 2 & Tier 5 Visa Applicants

The Home Office Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: HC535 were published yesterday and are now in force. The changes have brought positive reform for  Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 5 Applicants. This brings with it good news for Applicants as a number of changes to the Home Office evidential criteria were introduced to simplify and liberalise some of the stringent requirements for Applicants.

Tier 1 Entrepreneurs & Graduate Entrepreneurs

The changes to the Tier 1 Entrepreneurs and Graduate Entrepreneur scheme are as follows:

  • Previous investments can now be included as a measure of the “genuine entrepreneur” test. There is also more leniency offered by the Home Office in respect of some of the requirements.
  • Graduate entrepreneurs must now obtain further evidence to confirm that they are in fact a genuine and credible business venture in the form of endorsement letters. They must also spend the majority of their time building their business.

There is no indication at present that the Migration Advisory Committee review of this route, which called for considerable reforms are to be enforced at any time soon.

Tier 1 Investor Visa Route

There are few changes to the Tier 1 Investor Applications with no indication of a restriction of the rules. The minor changes to the Tier 1 Investor Applicant scheme are as follows:

  • If property is used to demonstrate finances then such property may be jointly owned with a spouse/partner; and
  • Investments which are shares or loan capital for investment organisations will not be accepted.

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa Route

The Home Office have also introduced provisions to simplify and liberalise the visa process for  the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent. The changes to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Applicants scheme are as follows:

  • additional qualifying criteria have added for Tech City UK visas for increase of technological start-up companies and for applicants who display exceptional promise.
  • fast-track applications for digital businesses which fall in the seven cities under the Tech North remit (Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Sunderland).

Tier 2 Visa Applications

The changes to the Tier 2 Visa route are extensions to the Shortage Occupation List as follows:

  • nurses;
  • product manager;
  • data scientist;
  • senior developer;
  • cyber security specialist;
  • an increase in the salary threshold for settlement applications by Tier 2 workers to £35,000; and
  • shared parental leave for maternity, paternity and adoption leave.

There are a number of other changes to make Tier 2 Visa Applications more user-friendly.

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa Route

There were few changes to the Tier 5 Visa Application schemes. One of the most significant is that application allocations for Australia and New Zealand were increased by 20% and 9% respectively opening the doors to many more applicants from the said countries.

UK Immigration Advice for Tier 1, Tier 2 & Tier 5 Visa Applicants

Our team of solicitors and barristers bear in mind the paramount duty of all legal representatives to act in your best interest whilst complying with the strict letter of the law. Our team of specialists can be distinguished from other law firms with our client tailored approach and scrutiny of options available to you from the outset. We will be able to advise you in respect of the merits of your application by providing you with advice from our leading team of barristers before your matter even reaches the Home Office.

If you have instructed legal representatives and you are unhappy with their conduct you can contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us now on 02071830570 for a free telephone assessment and free case assessment.

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