The government has released a new Statement of Changes yesterday (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/830153/CCS001_CCS0919963034-001_HC_2631_text.pdf), 9th September 2019.
The changes cover a few areas but this article will review the changes made to the following work and student visa routes:
- Start-up & Innovator
For the start-up visa, it is generally expected that have not established a business in the UK before. If so, then you must apply under the Innovator visa. But changes have been made to exempt the UK students from this condition.
An endorsing body’s request in these route may be refused on the basis of criminality or any other action which is not in public good. There are also changes made to the requirements needed in order to become an endorsing body.
- Tier 2
Following the Migration Advisory Committee’s review, the following changes were made to the Tier 2 route:
The occupations such as biochemists and biological scientists, architects, veterinarians, psychologists have been included in the Shortage Occupation List. There are some professions which have also been removed from the list. About 1 in 10 jobs have now been listed on the Shortage Occupation List.
The companies will no longer have to meet the strict conditions which they had to satisfy earlier in order to offer digital technology jobs in the shortage occupation list. Also, the employers while employing someone on the shortage occupation list do not need to carry the Resident Labour Market Test.
When applying for Indefinite leave to remain the applicants will be exempt from the earnings threshold. Though they still will be paid the appropriate rate for the occupation.
Earlier the restaurant owners who had the restrictions that they could not sponsor skilled chefs as they offered take away services has been eradicated.
Some salary rates have also been modified. These changes will be coming into force on 6thOctober 2019.
Skilled non-EU worker applying for PhD level occupations will be exempt from the annual limit on visas. Also, the absences from the UK for research for PhD level occupations and their partners (who accompanies them in such circumstances) will not be counted when applying for Indefinite leave to remain. Such research should directly be relating to their Tier 2 employment.
The jobs can be advertised on gov.uk “teaching vacancies” for the purpose of carrying on a Resident Labour Market Test from 6thOctober 2019.
- Tier 1 (Investors)
According to the Statement of Changes, March 2019 – the UK government bonds is no longer a qualifying investment for Tier 1 Investors. The current changes have been made for those who were already on Tier 1 Investor before 29 March 2019; the Tier 1 holder must move their qualifying investment out of UK government bonds prior to applying for their extension or Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Tier 1 Investor holder who want to extend their leave in the UK must move their qualifying investments before 6thApril 2023 and those of who wish to apply for Indefinite leave to remain must move the investments by 6thApril 2025.
- Tier 5
A few changes have also been made to Tier 5. Firstly, the “UK Research and Innovation- Science, Research and Academia” who used to sponsor researchers has been expanded. Secondly, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office government authorized exchange scheme has been removed. Thirdly, the South Korean nationals who are applying under the Youth Mobility Scheme do not need to apply for sponsorship from their government before applying for the visa. This will apply from 1stJanuary 2020.
The following changes have been made to the Statement of Changes for students:
- Tier 4 General visa students can start working within 3 months of completing their degrees with Tier 2 sponsors
- If a student has been supported by an endorsing body, they can start their business activities during the period when their start-up visa application is pending
- Masters and PhD level Tier 4 Students can start a different course with their current sponsor when they are on leave instead of making an overseas application
- Professional Sportsperson
Tier 4 (General) Student at the level of graduate or above can play or coach as amateurs or as a part of work placement undertaken as an integral part of their course.
- English Language
Appendix O will no longer exist and the details of acceptable English Language Test will be available on the gov.uk page. The applicants will no longer be required to provide their English Language certificates. They will only need to provide the unique reference number.
In addition, doctors, nurses, dentists etc who are sponsored under Tier 2 will not need to pass the English Language Test again.
- Administrative review
Unless the application has been made on a valid paper form, the administrative reviews must now be submitted online.