The Home Office has published its latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules taking effect from 6 April 2022 which includes new immigration routes, as well as some changes and rebranding for existing routes. The Home Office is presenting these changes as part of its commitment to simplify the Immigration Rules and provide greater clarity to businesses and workers (we are reserving judgement on that claim for now). The key changes are as follows:
- The new Global Business Mobility category will replace four existing routes and introduce a new route:
- The Senior or Specialist Worker route (replacing the Intra-Company Transfer route) will be most suitable for employers transferring staff from overseas group entities to the UK. The requirements are largely the same as the Intra-Company Transfer route, although the minimum salary threshold is now £42,400 instead of the previous £41,500. The route still does not lead to settlement in the UK.
- The Secondment Worker route is a new addition for workers being seconded to the UK as part of a high-value contract or investment by their overseas employer.
- The UK Expansion Worker route for senior managers and specialist employees of overseas businesses expanding into the UK will replace the current Sole Representative provisions of the Representative of an Overseas Business route. The Service Supplier route will replace certain provisions of the Temporary Work – International Agreement route. These are lesser used routes for UK employers as they are aimed at the employees of businesses without an existing presence in the UK.
There are no planned changes (for now) to the most highly used Skilled Worker route.
- As we recently indicated on this blog, details of the new High Potential Individual and Scale-up routes have now been finalised. An applicant for a High Potential Individual visa will need to have attended a university deemed a “top global university” by the Home Office, and is described as an “elite points-based route to attract the brightest and best to the UK”. The Scale-Up visa allows businesses with annualised growth of at least 20% for the previous 3-year period in terms of turnover or staffing to fill skilled positions from overseas.
- In other visa routes:
- International students switching to the Graduate visa from within the UK may now begin work in their new full-time position once they have made an application under the Graduate route, without being required to wait for their application to be decided, so long as they have completed their course of study.
- There are various minor amendments to the Global Talent route, including the addition of the requirement that exceptional promise applicants must be at an early stage in their career as well as the clarification that evidence for exceptional talent or promise should cover achievements in the five years directly prior to the application.
- A new minimum salary of £10.10 an hour has been applied to the Seasonal Worker
For further analysis of these developments, there is still time to register for our UK Business Immigration Update webinar on Tuesday 22 March 2022 from 12.30 to 1.30 p.m. GMT.
If you have any questions relating to UK visa applications or other immigration matters, please contact your usual Squire Patton Boggs business immigration team member or Annabel Mace, partner and Head of UK Immigration.