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Changes to UK's immigration rules 4 March 2021

On March 4 new changes to the UK's immigration rules came into the light. In this article, we have tried to bring some of the important changes for you.

Introduction of the Graduate Route

From July 1, 2021, a new Graduate Route will be open for applicants. Applicants mean international students who have completed a course at the bachelor's degree level or a higher level in their country. Students coming to the UK on a Graduate route will be granted a 2-year visa. They will be able to work or search for a job after they complete their studies for a maximum period of 2 years. Students on doctoral courses can work or look for a job after completing a maximum period of 3 years. Students applying for this visa category will not be required to obtain a job offer or a sponsorship to apply for this visa. Graduate students will be able to switch jobs if they want to make their career bright or they are simply looking for flexibility. There will be no caps on numbers and also no requirement to meet a minimum salary per annum threshold. Home Office of the UK understands the Covid situation and its impact on the movement of the people to the UK. In this light students who started in autumn 2020 have been allowed to enter the UK until 21 June 2021 and students who started in January or February 2021 can enter the UK until 27 September 2021. Dependents family members such as a spouse, partner, and children under 18 of the student applicants will be able to come to the UK.

Changes to skilled worker route

In the recent changes, it has been clarified that 8 occupations will be added to the Shortage Occupation List in the health and care sectors. These 8 occupations in the health and care sector include the followings: 1. Pharmacists 2. Physiotherapists 3. Nursing auxiliaries and assistants 4. Health service and public health managers and directors 5. Laboratory technicians 6. Senior care workers 7. Residential, day, and domiciliary care managers and proprietors 8. Health professionals not elsewhere classified Apart from the addition of more occupations to the health and care sector there is also now Modern foreign language teachers will be added to the shortage occupation list but skilled chefs have been removed from the list. However skilled chefs will still qualify for the skilled worker route because of changes made in the skills and salary threshold.

EU settlement scheme

New changes to the immigration rule also state the changes to the EU settlement scheme. Now the suitability and eligibility requirement will change a bit.

Changes in the Suitability requirement

Talking about the suitability requirement, Home Office now will be able to refuse applications based on the conduct of an applicant committed after the end of the Brexit transition period that causes the Home Official to feel that the presence of the applicant is not conducive to the public good.

ATAS requirements cover

Up until now, the foreign students applying under the ATAS or Academic Technology Approval Scheme need to get approval if they take certain courses in which they learn things related to military value to a hostile power. Now with new changes being introduced this scheme will be open to some sponsored workers also if their job involves academic research in those areas. Such applicants need to get a valid ATAS certificate if they apply for worker route where a certificate of sponsorship is required and the job role mentioned in the certificate of sponsorship should be in the following occupation codes: Chemical scientists Biological scientists and biochemists Physical scientists Social and humanities scientists Natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified Research and development managers Mechanical engineers Electronics engineers Electrical engineers Production and process engineers Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified Higher education teaching professionals Laboratory technicians Electrical and electronics technicians Engineering technicians Building and civil engineering technicians Aircraft maintenance and related trades and the job role includes an element of research at PhD level or above and that field of research is a subject set out at ATAS 4.1. From now on the certificate of sponsorship will require to confirm whether the ATAS rules apply there or not be it for a skilled worker, intra-company transfer, international agreement worker, or Government-authorized exchange worker. Applicants in such a case will have to get an ATAS certificate.

Global talent route

As of now one who wants to apply through the Global talent route needs to get an endorsement by an organization in the UK. The endorsement testifies the talent of an applicant. But now there is a big change. You don't need an endorsement because there is an introduction of a list of "prestigious prizes". If you win any of these prizes you will automatically qualify for a Global talent visa. The prestigious prizes list includes the following: Nobel Prizes Oscars Prizes Golden Globes award Tony Awards and The Hugo Boss Prize and more. These changes will be applicable from 5 May 2021. There are also a few technical amendments made to the main Global talent appendix.

Changes to Hong Kong British National (Overseas)

A new statement of changes allows Hong Kong British National (Overseas) and their families to apply for a change of conditions to access public funds which is not the case as of now. Applicants can apply for a change of conditions if they are destitute or at imminent risk of destitution. In the following conditions of change you can apply for it; 1. There is a change in your financial circumstances from the time you were permitted to stay in the UK, and you are no longer able to earn food or housing for yourself or your family 2. If there is a risk to your child because of your very low income 3. You always had financial problems, but you hide it and did not provide evidence of this and you now want to provide this evidence.

Changes to student route

From 1 July 2021 postgraduate students will not fall foul if they take integrated courses that includes getting a lower-level qualification first and then going for a higher qualification but choose to complete only the lower-level qualification.

Changes to continuous residence

Changes are being made for the settlement under the Skilled worker route, representative of an overseas business, global talent, innovator, T2 minister of religion, T2 sportsperson, UK ancestry or Hong Kong British National (Overseas). Now if a person with permission as a dependent was absent from the UK before 11 January 2018, the period of absence will not be counted towards the limit of 180 days absence limit.

Changes to T5(Temporary worker) Creative or sporting worker

The current rule says that if a creative worker is being sponsored for more than one engagement by the same sponsor, the worker cannot be engaged for more than 14 days between each engagement. The new system allows workers and their sponsors ‘to stop the clock' by only counting time spent within the UK.

Changes to T5(Temporary worker) youth mobility scheme

In this route now the applicants do not need to get a certificate of sponsorship because it is being replaced for applicants applying from eligible countries without 'Deemed Sponsorship Status' to provide evidence of sponsorship. This must be done within a period of 3 to 6 months. Now the allocations for 2021 will be the followings: Australia – 30,000 places (no change) New Zealand – 13,000 places (no change) Canada – 6,000 places (addition of 1000 places) Japan – 1,500 places (addition of 500 places) Monaco – 1,000 places (no changes) Taiwan – 1,000 places (no changes) Hong Kong – 1,000 places (no changes) South Korea – 1,000 places (no changes) San Marino – 1,000 places (no changes).

Changes to the Family route

If an applicant in his/her previous application for entry clearance or permission to stay in the UK proved they met the English language requirement, he/she does not need to prove it again if applying for a family visa extension. These are some changes in the UK immigration law published on 4 March 2021. Should you wish to seek professional advice or more clarity on these changes you can contact us on 02034111261. Visa and Migration Ltd. is a private firm with accreditation from the OSIC and the Law Society.
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Visa and Migration is a private OISC regulated company (F201500999) and is not an official Government body. If you would like to prepare and submit your UK immigration application yourself you can do so by visiting the UKVI website.