UK Home Office recently issued a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules that are harmonious with the Law Commission’s 2020 report. Substantial amendments proposed to the rules include new immigration categories and changes to UK immigration and visa routes.
This detailed piece has broken down the significant development related to the UK’s immigration landscape, published on 18th October 2022.
New Countries granted Visa waiver
Countries such as Peru, Guyana, and Colombia have become eligible for non-visa national status in the UK for less than six months out of the duration of a year. Nationals traveling for tourism and business from these countries do not need to apply for pre-travel authorization and can be granted entry on arrival. However, it is mandatory for citizens to fulfill all the procedural requirements to enter the UK as a visitor.
The foremost benefits behind granting a non-visa waiver are to increase trade and tourism and foster diplomatic relations between these countries.
Changes to Service Supplier Sub-Route under Global Business Mobility Route
Ordinarily, a service supplier visa is granted to temporary foreign workers to commence work assignments as per the UK Immigration law through:
- Being a contractual employee for an overseas business
- Becoming a self-employed professional located overseas
The scope of the Service supplier route is broadened by allowing permanent residents of New Zealand and Australia to fulfill the UK’s commitments pertaining to trade agreements with these nations. It is subject to the services offered that come under free trade agreements.
Furthermore, Australian nationals and permanent residents of Australia can extend their stay for 12 months if they deliver services that are part of a free trade agreement with Australia.
Introduction of Immigration route: Poultry Sector
The seasonal worker visa route is widened to increase roles in the poultry sector to meet the ever-demanding seasonal labor until Christmas. This expansion will come into effect on 18th October and end on 31st December.
The government lays down specific requirements for applicants to prevent misuse, poultry workers, apart from occupation codes 5433 or 5431 be paid £ 10.10 for work done an hour and obtain no less than paid employment of 30 hours every week. Additionally, a minimum of £ 25,600 must be paid to the sponsored poultry workers.
Suspension of Police Registration Scheme
The police Registration Scheme incorporated under Part 10 and Appendix 2 of the immigration rules has been suspended starting from 9th November 2022. This implies that foreign nationals are no longer required to register with the police as this scheme increases administrative costs and is redundant for both police and the Home Office.
With the updated UK immigration procedures, this data is already collected at the visa application stage before individuals arrive in the UK. Therefore, it is unnecessary since it can be made available on police requests when needed.
Introduction of Appendix Temporary Permission to Stay for Victims of Human Trafficking or Slavery
New routes for the victims of slavery or human trafficking have been established through the commencement of Temporary Permission to Stay. This indicates that confirmed victims can apply for temporary permission to stay in the UK if they satisfy the prerequisite requirements by UK Visas and Immigration.
Additionally, Section 65(2)(a) of the Nationality and Borders Act, 2022 plays a crucial role in determining the temporary permission to stay and is granted only if the Secretary of State deems it necessary after considering the provision mentioned below:
- Victims play a proactive role in criminal proceedings and investigations of relevant exploitation by aiding the public authorities.
- Assistance in physical or psychological recoupment is vital to the victims who suffered harm from slavery exploitation and trafficking.
- Victims are capable of seeking compensation regarding relevant exploitation.
This new UK immigration route is unavailable for more than 30 months per grant.
Amendments to Ukraine Extension Scheme
The statement of Changes also amended the Ukranian Extension Scheme that permitted Ukrainian nationals to continue their stay duration who have had permission to enter or stay in the UK as of 18th March 2022 (or their permission to stay after 1st January 2022 is expired).
Ukrainian Nationals can obtain 36 months of permission to stay in the UK if they want a permit to stay in the UK for any period between 18th March 2022 and 16th May 2023.
Expansion of Hong Kong BNO Route
Hong Kong British National (Overseas)(BNO)Visa Route provides Hong Kong BNOs and their dependent household members a safe passage to British Citizenship. Through this, adult children of BN(O) status holders are entitled to apply independently of their parent’s household. Those individuals will become eligible who:
- Are aged 18 years or above
- Reside in crown dependencies or Hong Kong or the UK.
- Have not less than one BNO parent.
- Born on or later than 1st July 1997.
Other individuals entitled to apply are dependent children, adult-dependent relatives, and partners of the adult child.
Critical Changes to the Global Talent Applications
Concerning the evidential requirements in the global talent category, minor amendments have been proposed, and they are elaborated on below:
- Applicants for art and culture endorsement are obligated to furnish letters of support from individuals or organizations who have first-hand experience working with the applicant and can comment on their skill competency.
- Applications for Digital Technology endorsement are required to furnish letters of support from individuals who have exhaustive knowledge of the applicant’s work throughout 12 months or more. These letters must indicate the exceptional talent of the applicants that will facilitate the growth of the UK digital economy.
Minor Changes to Work Conditions
Certain changes to employment conditions were made so that migrants became eligible and were not interrupted from standing in elections and filling elected positions. In this manner, the UK government is meeting its commitments with countries regarding reciprocal agreements revolving around the candidacy.
The frequent amendments associated with the UK Immigration policies and rules highlight the UK government’s refined approach concerning the rights of refugees and migrants. In the meantime, we encourage you to seek assistance from Global Law, if you find it difficult to get permission from government authorities to stay in the case of human trafficking or slavery or in the processing of global talent applications.
To familiarize yourself with the latest updates on UK visas and the immigration landscape, please check our website.
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