New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 719

The Home Office published a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 719) yesterday, on 18 October.

The explanatory memorandum confirms that the changes are largely focused on the government’s continued efforts to simplify the rules, and on implementing policy changes that have recently been put in place.

The majority of the changes take effect from 9 November 2022, unless otherwise stated. 

Most significantly, the government has made clear in the Nationality and Boarders Act 2022 that confirmed victims of human trafficking or slavery are eligible for temporary permission to stay in the UK. The statement of changes introduces a new Appendix Temporary Permission to Stay for Victims of Human Trafficking or Slavery to support this. These will take effect from 30 January 2023.

As regards other importance changes, they are as follows –

Inclusion of the poultry sector in the Seasonal Worker route

This is the only change to take immediate effect, as of 4pm 18 October 2022.

As a result of the statement of changes HC 803, which came into force on 1 November 2021, pork butchers are allowed to come into the UK as Seasonal Workers for up to six months. The route has now been expanded to include all roles in the poultry production sector, allowing seasonal workers in the sector to enter the UK to work from 18 October – 31 December each year. The new rules state:

“If the Certificate of Sponsorship confirms that the role is in the poultry production sector, the date of application must be on or before 15 November in each year.”

There is a salary requirement of at least £25,600, which ensures that those on the route would be able to apply to switch to a skilled worker visa if they wanted.

Changes to the provisions for adult children within the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) route

The changes being made to Appendix Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (HK BN(O)) include provision to enable children of BN(O) status holders to apply to the BN(O) route independently (that is, without needing to form part of their parents’ household or apply at the same time as them).

This change will apply to those who:

• have at least one BN(O) parent;

• are aged 18 or over;

• were born on or after 1 July 1997; and

• reside in Hong Kong, the UK or the Crown Dependencies.

Partners, dependent children, and adult dependent relatives of the adult child may also apply with them.

This change will take effect from 30 November 2022. 

Changes to the Global Talent category

The Global Talent category is for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, digital technology and arts and culture wishing to work in the UK.

The evidential requirements for arts and culture applications are being amended to require applicants to provide letters of support from organisations or individuals who have directly worked with the applicant and can therefore comment on their skills through personal experience rather than via reputation.

This is intended to ensure that the authors have first-hand knowledge of the applicants work and prevent the submission of more generic letters which do not adequately support a claim of exceptional talent or promise.

The evidential requirements for digital technology applications are being amended to require applicants to provide letters of support from individuals who have detailed knowledge of applicant’s work over a period of at least 12 months. This is intended to ensure authors are able to comprehensively consider the applicants work in a way which will support a claim of exceptional talent or promise.

Minor update to the Global Talent requirements:

• To allow time spent as a Representative of an Overseas Business to be included as part of the 3 or 5 year continuous period for settlement.

Minor updates to the Global Talent Prestigious Prize list:

• Following advice from Arts Council England and the British Fashion Council, the list of prizes in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes has been amended to include an additional British Fashion Council Award.

• Additionally, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award which was erroneously included in the Film and Television table has moved to the Arts and Culture table.

Global Business Mobility routes

According to the current amendments, residents of Australia and New Zealand can now qualify under the Service Supplier route where the services they provide are covered by the free trade agreement with those countries. Australian nationals and permanent residents of Australia providing services under the free trade agreement with Australia will be able to stay for 12 months at a time in the Service Supplier route.

Changes to simplify the process for giving effect to travel bans

Currently, applications from individuals subject to travel bans, also known as immigration sanctions, are refused under primary legislation (the Immigration Act 1971).

However, the legislation does not refer to entry clearance and therefore cancellation of an entry clearance is on the grounds that the person’s presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good.

Non-conducive covers a broad range of factors and assessments can be complex and time consuming. This technical change will simplify processes for caseworkers to give effect to travel bans imposed by the United Nations Security Council or the UK Government.

Changes to the Ukraine Extension Scheme

The Ukraine Extension Scheme enables Ukrainian nationals who held permission to enter or stay in the UK on 18 March 2022 (or who held permission which expired on or after 1 January 2022) to continue their stay in the UK.

From 9 November 2022, the immigration rules for the Ukraine Extension Scheme are updated to:

  1. Extend the timeframe for applications within the rules. Applications can be made by people with limited leave up to 16 May 2023.
  2. Create a deadline of 16 November 2023 which would be the end date for the scheme.

Changes to the Creative Worker route

An amendment is being made to remove the ability for those on the Standard Visitor and Permitted Paid Engagement routes to switch into the Temporary Work – Creative Worker route as this is incompatible with the requirements of the Visitor route.

Changes to the Domestic Workers in a Private Household route

Updates are being made to Appendix Domestic Workers in a Private Household to:

• remove the requirement to demonstrate continuous employment as a domestic worker throughout the applicant’s time on the route. This reflects the practical challenges domestic workers may face in the event they are forced to leave unsuitable employment at short notice and recognises there may be a short gap until new employment is secured.

Abolition of the police registration scheme

The Home Office announced this summer that it would abandon the requirement for individuals of certain nationalities to register with the police from 4 August 2022. The provisions have now finally been removed from the relevant sections of Part 10 and Appendix 2 of the rules.

Changes to grant non-visa national status to Colombia, Guyana, and Peru

Citizens of Colombia, Guyana, and Peru are being made non-visa nationals to enter the UK as visitors.

This means they will no longer have to obtain a visit visa before coming to the UK and can be examined and granted entry on arrival.

The risk of immigration abuse and criminality from these countries has consistently fallen in the last five years. Additionally, there are significant potential rewards for granting these nationalities non-visa national status, such as improved trade, diplomatic relations, and tourism.

Changes to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and EUSS family permit

The main changes in respect of the Immigration Rules for the EUSS in Appendix EU and for the EUSS family permit in Appendix EU (Family Permit) are as follows:

• to provide that, where a joining family member arrives in the UK with other limited leave (e.g. a work or study visa) or as a person exempt from immigration control, the deadline for them to apply to the EUSS is linked to the end of that status, rather than within three months of their arrival in the UK.

Other minor changes

Midwifery students can now apply for a visitor visa to undertake electives with a UK higher education provider, provided these are unpaid and involve no treatment of patience. Though it is hard to see how many visas might be issued as a result of this change.

Amendments made to Appendix Continuous Residence also reflect other recent changes. On 20 June 2022 Appendix Settlement Family Life and Appendix Private Life came into force. Those that had criminal convictions leading to a custodial sentence of less than 12 months are not able to qualify for settlement unless they have completed a qualifying period of 10 years and 5 years continuous residence since the end of their sentence. Appendix Continuous Residence has now been updated to confirm that a period of detention for 12 months or less will not break an individual’s continuous residence during their 10-year qualifying period. Though it does not count towards their period of continuous residence.

The Majority English Speaking Country list has been updated to include the British Overseas Territories.

The territories are: Anguilla; Bermuda; British Antarctic Territory (BAT); British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT); British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Turks and Caicos Islands; UK Sovereign Base Areas.

Posted on Oct 19, 2022.

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