02.01.2019 Changes to the Immigration Rules 2019

02.01.2019 Changes to the Immigration Rules 2019

On Wednesday, a new Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (HC 1779) was published. The changes are mainly focused on the points based system.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

The list of internationally recognised experts for the purposes of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route has been widened to include those in the field of architecture. It is stated that the field of architecture may include “design, technical and leadership skills relevant to the operation of leading architectural practices”.

Under this category, prospective applicants are required to obtain endorsement by a Designated Competent Body. Anyone wising to apply will have to be assessed by the Royal Institute of British Architects, which must be endorsed in turn by the Arts Council England.

In the recent change, the grant periods for entry clearance applicants have been amended and anyone successful in applying under this Tier, as of 10 January 2019, will be granted leave for a total of 1 year and 4 months rather than the standard 12 months. Currently, only those applicants who request 5 years’ leave qualify for the additional 4-month period.

Additionally, digital technology applicants who as a result of the Tech Nation online application form, will no longer be required to supply paper copies of their specified evidence to Home Office.

Seasonal worker pilot scheme under Tier 5 (Temporary Worker)

The new seasonal worker scheme has been approved as a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) category and is due to come into effect in 2019.

Under the new ‘Appendix U’, the pilot scheme will be to enable “non-EEA migrant workers to come to the UK to undertake seasonal employment in the edible horticulture sector”.

The scheme will be open to those over 18 years of age. Seasonal Workers will be granted leave to enter for a cumulative period not exceeding 6 months in any 12 month period.

Tier 4 (Student) Visa

Tier 4 route consisting of Tier 4 (Child) and Tier 4 (General),is often used by non-EEA nationals wishing to study in the UK.

As of 10 January 2019, those applying under the Tier 4 (Student) route, and relying on student loans or funds from official financial sponsors, are no longer required to demonstrate that the funds have been held for a period of 28 consecutive days. Instead, Tier 4 migrant must have the funds available to them on the date of application. Please note there are certain exceptions.

Additionally, from 1 August 2019, the Tier 4 (Student) category will be amended to reflect higher education reform in England.