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Fundamental Changes to UK Immigration Rules – April 2022

Background

As of 6th April 2022  a number of new UK immigration rules came into effect.

The Tier 1 (investor) visa had already been closed to new applicants on 17 February 2022.

A summary of the key changes is detailed below.

Overseas Representatives Business Category

The Overseas Representative Businessperson category, commonly known as Sole Representative will no longer exist. The Overseas Media Person category will remain unaffected. Those currently holding permission under the Sole Representative category will be unaffected.

Global Business Mobility Routes

The Intra-Company Transfer routes have been revamped and will be known as the Global Business Mobility routes. Those under this category will not be eligible for permanent residence.

The new Global Business Mobility route creates 5 sub-categories as set out below. It means that a sponsor licence holder will need to hold licences under the relevant sub-categories to be able to be a sponsor:

  1. The Senior or Specialist Worker which replaces the Intra-Company route and is applicable to senior managers or specialist employees who are being assigned to a UK linked entity for a temporary assignment.
  2. Graduate Trainee which replaces the Graduate Trainee Intra-Company route and is designed for those on a dedicated Graduate programme outside of the UK, and who are required to be assigned to the UK for part of the programme.
  3. UK Expansion Worker which is for senior managers or specialist workers being assigned temporarily to the UK to establish an UK entity or to undertake work related to a business expansion to the UK. The applicant would need to meet the points criteria (60 points) and be granted a Certificate of Sponsorship. This will mean that the employer must obtain a sponsor licence by requesting a provisional rating, with the applicant holding the role of authorising officer. The maximum stay allowed would be 5 years in any 6-year period.
  4. Service Supplier which is for overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is either a contractual service supplier employee or a self-employed independent professional. The applicant would need to meet the points criteria (40 points) and be granted a Certificate of Sponsorship. There are no requirements to meet the salary point requirements. The maximum stay allowed would be 5 years in any 6-year period.
  5. Secondment Worker which is for overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments, where the assignment is part of a high value contract or investment by their overseas employer. The applicant would need to meet the points criteria (40 points) and be granted a Certificate of Sponsorship. There are no requirements to meet the salary point requirements, but the contract must have been registered with the Home Office. The maximum stay allowed would be 5 years in any 6-year period.

Introduction of the High Potential Individual (HPI) and Scale-up Routes

The HPI introduces an elite points-based route to attract the brightest and best to the UK to maintain the UK’s status as a leading international hub for emerging technologies. Applicants must have a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree from one of the Global Universities, listed by the Home Office, within 5 years of the date of application.

The Scale-up route introduces an elite points-based route to attract the brightest and best to the UK, to maintain our status as a leading international hub for emerging technologies. A job offer must be received from an authorised UK scale-up company. The scale-up company would need to demonstrate that they have an annualised growth of at least 20% for the previous 3-year period in terms of turnover or staffing, as well as having a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the 3-year period.

Additional Changes

Changes have been made to the rules relating to Settlement based on Family Life and Private Life, to make the requirements simpler to understand.

Policy Guidance

A further update will be provided once the policy guidance has been released.

Further Information and Advice

If any of the changes above affect you and/or you need assistance regarding immigration to the UK, as an individual or as an employer, please speak to Peter Robertson at: advice.uk@dixcart.com.

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