Skilled Worker Route Commencing 1 December 2020.
The UK Government has laid before Parliament a new set of Immigration Rules designed to deliver the Future Points-Based Immigration System, following the UK’s departure from the EU single market at the end of 2020.
The Rules codify and establish a legal framework for the immigration policy announcements that have been made in the course of 2020.
They are also intended to simplify the existing set of Rules and provide greater clarity to migrants, employers and other stakeholders.
The most important provisions include:
The Skilled Worker Route. This is the new points-based route for those who wish to come to the UK for the purpose of working in a skilled job they have been offered. The key characteristics of the route are that an applicant must be sponsored to do a specific job, which meets skill and salary requirements, by an employer that has been licenced.
The Tier 2 (General) Route will be closed to new applications on 1 December 2020 and be replaced by the new Skilled Worker Route. This is one month before the end of the EU withdrawal transition period.
The Intra-Company Transfer Route. Changes include greater flexibility around the “cooling-off” requirement, beneficial provisions for high-earners earning £73,900 or more, ability for migrants to move into the route when already in the UK under another route (switching).
Visitors will be permitted to study for up to six months in the UK at an accredited institution.
Irish citizens. The new Rules codify the right of Irish citizens to enter, reside, live and work in the UK without requiring permission and without restriction on their stay, as confirmed in the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill and pursuant to the UK-Ireland Common Travel Area Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2019.
Hong Kong British National Overseas. This new route enables BN(O) citizens residing in Hong Kong, as well as qualifying family and household members, to obtain a long-term entry to the UK with permission to work and a view to permanent residence. This follows the policy decision of the UK government to allow Hong Kong BN(O) citizens to live in the UK following China’s breaches of the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
Criminality. The Rules have been simplified to impose automatic refusals of entry-clearance, permission to enter or permission to stay where the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offence in the UK or overseas for which they have received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more.
Appendices. The new Rules reorganise and restructure existing Immigration Rules in a presentational scheme designed make the Rules more accessible and transparent. They create a series of named appendices according to immigration category.
Guidance. Over the course of the next few weeks the Home Office will publish policy guidance on the administration of the new schemes. We will publish details of the relevant changes as soon as they become available.
This is a non-exhaustive description of the key points contained within the 514-page statement. We will continue to keep our clients and professional colleagues updated in respect of these important changes.
Please do not hesitate to contact your Magrath Sheldrick representative with any questions in relation to UK’s Immigration Rules.