Key Changes to Tier 1 visas announced in new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules

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The immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, has announced on 06th December 2018,  a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules with major reforms to Tier 1 of the points-based system. The full version of the changes proposed can be viewed here.

The key changes are the introduction of a new Innovator route targeting more experienced people to replace the existing Tier 1 Entrepreneur route and suspending the Tier 1 Investor route which will be reformed soon. The new Innovator route will have a similar emphasis on endorsement by a business sponsor, who will assess applicants’ business ideas for their innovation, viability and scalability.

According to the Statement laid before Parliament, these reforms will be introduced in the spring and is aimed to ensure that the UK remains a world-leading destination for investment and innovation. There is also wider changes planned for the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route. The changes will expand this route to provide for a route of entry for leading architects endorsed by the Royal Institute of British Architects, under the remit of Arts Council England (ACE). This change builds upon other reforms to the route earlier this year, including doubling the number of places available, providing for faster settlement to existing leaders in their fields endorsed under this route, and expanding the route to leading fashion designers, also endorsed under the remit of ACE.

There will be also more technical changes to Tier 1 and Tier 2 routes for highly skilled workers. These changes will be made to ensure the Immigration Rules remain up-to-date and for consistency purposes.

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