18 May Statement of Changes – May 2020
On 14 May 2020, the Home Office published a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules. Most of the changes summarised below come into force on 4 June 2020.
Changes to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
The UK Government announced that as of 24 August 2020, family members of British or dual British-Irish citizens from Northern Ireland will be able to apply for status under the EUSS. Compared to a spouse visa application under Appendix FM, migrants who qualify under the EUSS will not need to meet a the financial or English language requirements, and further will not need to pay the associated UKVI application fees and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). However, this is only a temporary concession as the deadline of applying for a Pre-Settled status or Settled status under the EUSS ends on 30 June 2021.
Changes to the Start-up and Innovator visa categories
Both Start-up and Innovator Schemes require applicants to be endorsed by Approved Bodies provided that they have innovative, viable and scalable business ideas. In order to qualify for the endorsement, applicants must be founders of their businesses and be relying on their own business plans. The Statement of Changes clarifies that an Innovator migrant’s business may be already trading as long as the applicant was one of its founders.
In addition, the ‘viability’ criteria require that a business plan is realistic and achievable based on the applicant’s available resources, and the migrant has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.
Higher Education Providers and Government Departments will also become endorsing bodies.
Changes to the Global Talent visa scheme
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) migrants who wish to extend their leave must apply under the Global Talent category and meet the extension requirements. They do not need to obtain a new endorsement from one of the approved endorsing bodies.
Tier 2 Intra-company transfer (ICT)
Tier 2 (ICT) migrants will no longer be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This is because the transitional measure ensuring that Tier 2 (ICT) migrants who were sponsored prior to 6 April 2010 could still qualify and apply for ILR has now elapsed. As a result, all migrants eligible for this transitional arrangement has now either gained settlement or left the UK.
Representative of an Overseas Business
Sole Representative visa holders must have the skills, experience, knowledge and authority to represent the overseas business in the UK. In addition, migrants must be in a senior position and cannot engage in their own business or represent any other business in the UK.
The new changes prevent majority owners from entering as the dependent spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner of a representative of their own business.
Changes relating to family life
Under paragraph S-LTR 1.4 (b) of Appendix FM, the Statement of Changes now state that ‘The presence of the applicant in the UK is not conducive to the public good because they have been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to imprisonment for less than 4 years but at least 12 months unless a period of 10 years has passed since the end of the sentence’.
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