The Home Secretary has published a Statement of Changes to the UK Immigration Rules. Relevant changes include:
- Changes to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) including a new right of administrative review and clarification that close family members of UK nationals returning with them from the European Economic Area or Switzerland will be able to make an application until March 29, 2022 (if the relationship existed on exit day) or December 31, 2020 (if the relationship was established after exit day.)
- Removal of PhD roles from the Tier 2 (General) annual quota and a wide expansion of the Shortage Occupation List, as recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee earlier this year.
- Confirmation that Tier 2 migrants will not be penalized for any absence from work due to sickness, statutory parental leave, assistance in a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis or legal strike action.
- Changes to Tier 1 category including the closure of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category for new applicants, amendments to the investment criteria for Tier 1 (Investor) extension and settlement applications, and changes to the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category requested by competent bodies.
- Changes to the Start-up and Innovator categories including confirmation that business activities can be started earlier, relaxation of Start-up visa requirements for Tier 4 (General) students on a doctorate extension scheme, clarification of the qualifying criteria an organization must meet to be an endorsing body, and the removal of a ‘checkpoint’ between an applicant and their endorsing body after 24 months in the Start-up category.