Keeping you updated with UK immigration
New International Sportsperson route
From 1st October 2021, the new International Sportsperson route will be introduced, which will replace the current T2 and T5 Temporary Worker routes for professional sporting workers.
The International Sportsperson route will be open to applicants who want to come to the UK for 12 months or less and will be a Points Based System application. Applicants applying to stay for more than 12 months will have to demonstrate an English language ability.
Because of the introduction of the new International Sportsperson route, the current T5 system will be rebranded as the Tier 5 Temporary Worker routes. The T5 Creative and Sporting Worker visa will become the ‘Temporary Worker – Creative Worker’ route as the sporting component will come under the International Sportsperson route.
EU Settlement Scheme
The deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme was 30th June 2021. However, some people may still be able to apply if they meet the criteria for a later deadline or have ‘reasonable grounds’ for making a late application.
The criteria for later deadlines are for those joining a family member who was present in the UK by 31st December 2020 and if that family relationship still exists. Furthermore, medical reasons, including Covid related restrictions, constitute ‘reasonable grounds’ for making a late application.
Those who already have Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme are still able to apply for Settled Status once they have completed their 5-year continuous residence in the UK.
Once an application to the EU Settlement Scheme has been successfully submitted, applicants will be given a Certificate of Application. They can use this to prove their rights in the UK whilst their application is being decided. This will enable them to continue to work, rent and live in the UK.
Due to the high volume of applications to the EU Settlement Scheme in June 2021, there are reported widespread delays in applications being processed and decided and as such, there are currently no standard processing times.
Throughout the pandemic, the Home Office made a number of concessions to make life easier for migrants in the UK who may have been affected by Covid restrictions.
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants whose businesses had been negatively impacted by the pandemic were able to extend their leave in the UK, provided they had created the equivalent of two full-time jobs for settled workers at the time of the application. There is not a requirement to demonstrate that the jobs had existed for a minimum period of 12 months. The second requirement must be met before the applicant can qualify for indefinite leave to remain, in addition to the existing job creation requirement.
The Home Office also made a concession for Skilled Worker applicants (and those of the former Tier 2 route). For applicants in the UK between 24th January 2020 and 30th June 2021, the concession allows them to start working for their sponsor while waiting for a decision on their skilled worker or Tier 2 application. A change will also be made to the settlement rules to allow those who successfully applied in the UK during this period to include that time they were waiting for a decision towards the 5-year settlement period.
There was also a concession for EU Settlement Scheme migrants who have had their continuous residence affected due to Covid-19, i.e. they have had too many absences from the UK. This concession will come to an end on 6th October 2021.
Global Talent Visa
From 1st October 2021, there will be changes to the evidential requirements and criteria for Global Talent visa applicants, as per the recommendations from the endorsing bodies.
Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes will be introduced to list the qualifying prizes under the Prestigious Prizes route will be expanded to cover a wider range of prizes. Recipients of such will also not require an endorsement to apply for the Global Talent Visa.
The rules for visitors will be amended to allow students to come to the UK to undertake activities relating to their course at a UK-based institution from overseas via distance or virtual learning.
Students who are studying nursing overseas at the equivalent of degree level can also come to the UK as a visitor in order to undertake electives with a UK higher education provider. These must be unpaid electives and involve no treatment of patients.
Research students who have been accepted by a higher education provider in the UK to undertake research as part of their course of study can do so at a UK research institute, provided a formal partnership exists between the higher education provider and the research institute from overseas.
General COVID-19 updates
As COVID-19 restrictions continue to be lifted within the United Kingdom, the Home Office has been regularly publishing further guidance on how measures introduced during the pandemic will proceed. Barar & Associates has summarised some of the updates for you below.
Exceptional assurance has been extended until 30th November 2021. This temporary measure was introduced by the Home Office during the COVID-19 pandemic so that those who intend to leave the UK but have not been able to do so and who have a visa or leave that expires by 30th November 2021 may request additional time to stay. It is not known whether the Home Office will extend the exceptional assurance scheme beyond 30th November 2021 so individuals who currently have assurance should be taking steps to either leave the UK or submit an application for leave to remain under another visa category.
If a migrant’s visa or leave expired between 24th January 2020 and 31st August 2020, there will be no adverse immigration consequences if they didn’t make an application to regularise their stay during this period. However, if the migrant has not applied to regularise their stay or submitted a request for an exceptional assurance then they must make arrangements to leave the UK.
Should you wish to discuss your UK immigration matters, please contact our expert team of London immigration lawyers at Barar and Associates at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via https://bararassociates.com/.