The government published a statement of changes to the UK Immigration Rules on 10 September 2021. At 183 pages, it is extensive and covers a broad range of areas.
In this guide, we summarise the key points affecting employers, workers and business travellers to the UK.
ID cards banned for entry purposes
From 1 October 2021, entry into the UK using a national identification card will in most cases be banned. Most individuals will instead have to use their passports to enter the UK. This includes EEA nationals who prior to 1 October have been permitted to enter the UK with their national ID card.
Exceptions apply to some existing residents, eg those with EU settled status.
New International Sportsperson route
A new International Sportsperson route is to open from 11 October 2021 for athletes coming to the UK for 12 months or less.
Applicants must meet the points requirement, which includes endorsement from the UK governing body of the applicant’s relevant sport. If they are applying to stay for longer than 12 months, the applicant will have to meet a basic English language requirement, to level A1 standard.
The visa effectively combines the old T2 Sportsperson and T5 Sporting or Creative Worker visas into a new route under the new points-based immigration system. It follows the launch of other former Tier 5 visas such as the Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker route.
Global talent route
The Global Talent route is for those with exceptional talent or promise. A number of tweaks and changes are being made to Appendix Global Talent, largely to make it easier for applicants to become endorsed. For example, evidence of exceptional promise in digital technology can be accompanied by just one example, rather than two and evidence of exceptional talent/promise in arts and culture can include media coverage of the applicant’s work “as a named member of a group”, not just individually. Fast-track endorsement rules have also been relaxed.
The number of awards and prestigious prizes that qualify an applicant for an exemption to the endorsement requirement has also been doubled.
Individuals making an in-country application to extend a visa on or after 6 October 2021 will see their application deemed withdrawn if they leave the Common Travel Area (the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) while the application is pending.
Depending on UKVI processing times, this could mean applicants may have to remain in the country for several more weeks.
EUSS family permits
EUSS family permit rules now allow non-EU family members of EU citizens with pre-settled or settled status to join their family member and apply to the EUSS whilst in the UK as a visitor.
Youth mobility scheme
Iceland and India have been added to the list of eligible nationalities under the Youth Mobility Scheme.
1,000 visas are being made available to Iceland and 3,000 for Indian nationals.
COVID concessions incorporated into Rules
Some emergency measures implemented by the Home Office in response to the pandemic are being incorporated into the Immigration Rules on a permanent basis. These include waiving the job creation requirement for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holders and the concession for Skilled Workers and Sportspersons who began working before their visa was granted.
Incorporating the changes provides greater certainty for those looking to meet settlement eligibility requirements but whose immigration status was impacted by pandemic conditions.
DavidsonMorris are UK immigration specialists. We support employers, entrepreneurs, investors, workers and their families with all types of UK visas, settlement and nationality applications. For advice on any aspect of UK immigration and the recent changes to the Immigration Rules, contact us.
Last updated: 11 September 2021