99 page statement
of changes to
immigration rules

A new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules has been introduced this week.

Presented to Parliament on 9th September, this latest statement is the sixth set of revisions made to the rules in the past 12 months.

A difficult read as the best of times, this statement is no different and incorporates a number of amendments including:

  • EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) clarity: Access to the EUSS will be available until 29 March 2022, in both ‘deal’ and ‘no deal’ scenarios, for existing close family members (where the relationship existed on exit day) of UK nationals returning with them from the EEA or Switzerland having lived there together while the UK national exercised their free movement rights.
  • Access to the EUSS will be available until 31 December 2020, in both ‘deal’ and ‘no deal’ scenarios, for future spouses, civil partners and durable partners (where the relationship was established after exit), and other dependent relatives, of UK nationals returning with them from the EEA or Switzerland having lived there together while the UK
    national exercised their free movement rights.
  • Provisions are in place for a non-EEA citizen family member granted EUSS status, whose biometric residence card is then lost or stolen overseas, to apply free of charge for an EUSS travel permit to enable them to travel to the UK, where they can apply for a replacement biometric residence card.
  • Administrative review modernisation: Applications for administrative reviews must now be filed on line where the original application was made on line.
  • Changes relating to the Tier 2 (General) category: Changes are being made to exempt PhD level occupations from the Tier 2 (General) annual limit of 20,700 places.
  • Applicants whose occupations are at PhD level, and who undertake research overseas directly related to their Tier 2 employment, may do so without that absence being ‘counted’ when any application for settlement is assessed.
  • Changes to Shortage Occupation List: Some new occupations have been added including biological scientists and veterinarians – further details can be found here
  • The restriction preventing chefs from working for a sponsor that provides a takeaway service has also been removed from the rules.
  • Tier 4: Switching into Tier 2: Tier 4 students studying at degree level or above are now permitted to apply to switch into the Tier 2 route within 3 months of the expected end date of their course. A corresponding change is therefore being made to the Tier 4 conditions of leave to allow such students to commence work with their Tier 2 sponsor
    if they have applied to switch into the Tier 2 route within 3 months of the expected end date of their course.

Alongside a number of additional minor amendments being made in other visa categories, most of these changes shall take effect on 1 October 2019.  The full 99 page Statement of Changes and Explanatory Memorandum can be found here.

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