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2019 04 OCT

Changes to Immigration Rules

Changes to the Immigration Rules October 2019

Certain changes will take place on 01 October 2019 and rest would be taking place on 06 October 2019

Tier 2 

  • The Shortage Occupation List has been expanded with professions such as biological scientists and biochemists, psychologists, veterinarians, and architects some other professions have been removed too.
  • Companies wishing to offer digital technology jobs in the shortage occupation list will no longer need to meet strict conditions they previously had to meet. Changes coming into force on 6 October 2019.
  • Restaurant owner who could not sponsor skilled chefs because the restaurant offered a takeaway service. This restriction has been removed, such that restaurants who offer a takeaway service may still be able to sponsor chefs. 
  • New salary rates should be followed for certificates assigned after 06 October 2019.
  • PhD level occupations will be exempt from annual limit on visas for skilled non-EU workers after 6 October 2019.
  • PhD level occupations absences from the UK for research which is directly relating to their Tier 2 employment will not be counted as absences in an application for indefinite leave to remain. The same applies to their dependents who accompany them in these circumstances. 
  • After 6 October 2019, jobs can be advertised on the “Teaching Vacancies” for carrying out a Resident Labour Market Test. 
  • Tier 4 students studying at degree level or above will now be permitted to apply to switch into the Tier 2 route within 3 months of the expected end date of their course, to facilitate such students taking up skilled work in the UK following the successful completion of their studies. A change is also being made to the Tier 4 conditions to allow such students to commence work with their Tier 2 sponsor if they have applied to switch into the Tier 2 route within 3 months of the expected end date of their course.

Tier 1 (investors)

Following the March 2019 Statement of changes, UK government bonds will no longer be qualifying investments for Tier 1 (Investors). The current changes make provisions for those who were already on Tier 1 (Investor) route prior to 29 March 2019 to extend or settle in the UK, provided they move their qualifying investments out of UK government bonds.

In particular, those who wish to extend their Tier 1 (Investor) leave must move their investments before 6 April 2023, while those who want to apply for indefinite leave to remain must move them before 6 April 2025.

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

Tech Nation, one of the endorsing bodies for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applicants, now provide three, rather than two, letters of support by established organisations in the digital technology sectors. This change brings those applications in line with those applying for endorsement by other designated competent bodies.

Tech Nation also wants to attract more “commercially savvy” applicants, and will take into account the commercial impact of the applicant’s previous work, achievements and experiences; and insists on applicants producing “product-led” digital technology rather than just digital technology.

The Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and British Academy are, instead, being more generous, expanding the list of peer-reviewed fellowships which will allow applicants to apply the fast-track procedure; allowing those who have held a fellowship in the 12 months prior to the application to apply; and allowing a wider range of senior academic or research positions.


Changes have been made so that students on Tier 4 (General) visas will be able to start working for Tier 2 sponsors within a period of 3 months of the completion of their degree. Students who have been supported by an endorsing body can also start their business activities whilst their application for a start-up application is pending.

Another change is being made to allow Tier 4 students studying at masters’ and PhD level will be able to start a different course of study with their current sponsor while they have leave, without having to make an application from overseas.

English language

The new changes will remove Appendix O and the list of acceptable English language test has been updated )

Tier 5

  • The Foreign & Commonwealth Office government authorised exchange scheme will be removed.
  • The list of organisations permitted to sponsor researchers in the “UK Research and Innovation – Science, Research and Academia” scheme will be been expanded.
  • From 1 January 2020, South Korean nationals applying under the Youth Mobility Scheme will no longer need to apply for sponsorship from their government before applying for their visa.

Administrative review

Last but not least, administrative reviews must now be submitted online unless the original application was made on a valid paper form. 

Administrative review being introduced to EUSS cases for being denied leave to enter.

Appendix Koll

Amendments are being made to Appendix KOLL so that applicants are no longer required to provide original documents as proof of passing the ‘Life in the UK’ test but need instead only to provide the unique reference number for checking.

Doctors, dentists, nurses or midwives who have previously been granted leave under Tier 2 (General), do not need to meet the English language requirement for indefinite leave to remain. The exemption only applies to the knowledge of English language requirement and they are still required to satisfy the knowledge of life in the UK

If you want to read all the changes which will come into force you can see –


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