From 01 Dec 2020 9 AM, the new and simplified points-based immigration system will be introduced to the UK immigration rules. Applications which are made on 01 Dec 2020, before 9 AM, will be considered under the old system.
Summary of main changes
- Appendix EU – If an EEA national makes an application for entry clearance, other than under Appendix EU (Family Permit), Appendix S2 Healthcare Visitor or Appendix Service Providers from Switzerland, before 11 PM on 31 Dec 2020, any entry clearance granted will take effect from 01 Jan 2021.
- Grounds for refusal - An applicant can be refused permission to stay if the decision-maker finds that the applicant has been rough sleeping in the UK. A leave to enter/remain can also be cancelled if a visa national is found rough sleeping in the UK.
- Introduction of Appendix ECAA Extension of Stay – A visa national who holds a valid ECAA permission to stay, can apply for settlement under the same route;
- Appendix FM – A visa national can make an application to join their qualifying sponsor under his Appendix, if their sponsor is a British National or foreign national residing in the UK with ILR, refugee status, or an EEA national with limited leave under Appendix EU, or a person with limited leave as a worker or business person under Appendix ECAA before 01 Jan 2021.
- Visitors – A visa national can enter the UK with a visit visa provided that they will be entering for the only purposes of tourism, visiting friends or family, carrying out a business activity, or undertaking a short course of study (up to 6 months).
- Appendix S2 Healthcare Visitor – This has been designed for individuals who before the end of the transition period (11 PM on 31 Dec 2020), had requested authorisation to receive a course of planned healthcare treatment under the S2 route, under Regulation (EC) No 883/2004.
- Appendix Student – This route remains open to child students and adult students who are coming from overseas to undertake their education in the UK. It remains a route which does not lead to settlement; however, it is now opened to EEA nationals for courses starting after 01 Jan 2021. There is a more flexible approach on the timing of application, as the UKVI, has now allowed for an application to be made within six months of the CAS is issued. English language must be proved independently and constitutes a 1/3 of the points to be scored for a successful application. The financial requirement has also been relaxed for those individuals who have been residing in the UK for the 12 months or more from the date of application. Indeed, funds need not be shown for a leave to remain to be granted under this new category of study visa. Applicants who are not eligible for the financial requirement exemption must show evidence of funds for the value of £1334 for each month of the course (up to a max of 9 months). For those planning to study outside of London is £1023 for each month of the course (up to a maximum of 9 months). The funds must be held for 28 days before the date of application. Applicants who are listed under ST 22.1 (low-risk nationals) do not need to evidence of financial requirement, nor they are required to undertake an interview as a part of the processing of their application. Students can now bring their dependant partners, even if they are not married.
- Appendix Short-term Student (English language) – The application can only be made from overseas, and it is designed for those individuals who wish to study English in the UK between 6 to 11 months with an accredited institution.
- Skilled Worker – Any visa national who is planning to undertake employment in the UK with a UKVI approved employer will be able to apply for entry clearance or leave to remain under this category. The only individuals who will be unable to apply for leave to remain are those living in the UK as Visitor; Short-term student; Parent of a Child Student; Seasonal Worker; Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or granted leave outside the Immigration Rules. Salary requirement to be met hold a basic threshold of £25,600 or the going rate for the occupation code. If holding a PhD, or the applicant are applying for a job in the shortage occupation, or they are new labour entrant, the salary threshold will be lower.
- Appendix Intra-Company Routes – This route continues to cater Intra-Company Transfer and Intra-Company Graduate Trainee categories. Both routes do not lead to settlement; however, the foreign national who resides in the UK on this route will be able to switch into the new skilled worker route.
- Parents of Child Students - Will now be granted leave to stay in line with their child.
- Hong Kong British National (Overseas) - The visa category has been officially introduced take effect on 31 January 2021.
- Rules now officially provide legislative protection for those individuals who have overstayed from 24 Jan – 31 Aug 2020 due to Covid-19.
Please contact our immigration team on 0330 058 3929 if you need any immigration law assistance.