The UK’s immigration rules are constantly evolving, with new routes opening, old routes closing, and clarifications being made to existing routes. Here are some of the key changes that have taken effect since April 2023.
Important developments in the business immigration arena unfolded as we headed towards the Summer of 2023. The Innovator and Start-up routes, which allowed entrepreneurs to set up businesses in the UK, have closed. These have been replaced by the more restrictive Innovator Founder route. Under Innovator Founder, applicants can work for other businesses if the role is suitably skilled. It is far less flexible than its original predecessor, the Entrepreneur route. Previously any kind of enterprise could be relied on to support an application and the HO would assess its viability as a business. Now, the assessment is carried out by an endorsing body. Under Innovator Founder one can work for other businesses so long as the role is appropriate skilled.
Additional guidance has been provided on routes for offshore and continental shelf workers. Offshore workers arriving directly in UK waters without passing through the UK land border have special reporting duties but are not covered under the normal sponsorship system. Continental shelf workers beyond UK waters must obtain leave to enter/remain but do not require sponsorship. They are normally granted 12 months limited leave outside the Immigration Rules.
An important change allows workers in roles with uneven hours to count overtime above 48 hours per week towards meeting minimum salary thresholds. This is permitted so long as the target salary level is reached on average over a regular cycle of up to 17 weeks. Unpaid rest periods are counted in the averaging calculation but unauthorized absences are not.
With regards to the EUSS Rules amended Post-Celik and Batool, two key Upper Tribunal judgments have impacted the EU Settlement Scheme. The definition of a “durable partner” was amended to reflect the Home Office’s narrow interpretation as upheld in Celik and Batool. This generally excludes partners without a valid EU residence card issued before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.
Amongst the revised Deportation rules, less Serious Foreign Criminals are now Subject to Normal ECHR Article 8 Test. Foreign criminals below the deportation threshold are now expressly subject to a standard Article 8 assessment without extra thresholds. This confirms Razgar principles apply rather than requiring an exceptionally compelling case. Public interest deportation factors are still considered.
In summary, the UK’s complex immigration framework continues to rapidly evolve. The recent changes aim to fine-tune the system based on emerging case law and policy priorities. The effects of these changes on migrants and their families will need to be closely monitored.
Staying up to date with the latest updates in UK immigration laws is imperative for immigration lawyers. The recent changes discussed in this blog post highlight the government’s efforts to streamline the asylum process, address illegal migration concerns, and introduce reforms in business immigration. By keeping informed about these developments, our MIL subscribers can provide their clients with the most accurate and effective legal advice, ensuring their immigration journeys are handled with expertise and care.
These and many more are now included in Mastering Immigration Law. A comprehensive list of all the updates from November 2022 – January 2023 period and prior to this are listed for our subscribers reference under the Updates & Documentation module. Please log in to access. Index also updated.
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