Changes to immigration rules

June 9

Changes to the Immigration Rules June 2020


OTB Legal

The Home Office have recently published a statement of changes to the immigration rules which affect various immigration categories. Our latest blog article provides a summary of some of the key changes.

Most of the changes came into effect on 4 June 2020 whilst the changes to the EU Settlement are due to come into force on 24 August 2020.

Representatives of overseas businesses (Sole Representative)

There are a number of changes to the requirements under this route and those applying from 4 June 2020 will need to ensure that they meet the new requirements.

The route has become more complex with the addition of new legal requirements and a greater power given to the Home Office caseworkers to refuse applications where they deem them not to be ‘genuine’ which is likely to result in more refusals. 

The most significant change will limit those with the majority stake in the overseas business from being able to use this route. The requirement previously stated that the sole representative could not be a majority shareholder in the overseas business meaning that they could not hold more than 50% of the shares. The new requirement has been expanded and states as follows:

“does not have a majority stake in, or otherwise own or control, that overseas business, whether that ownership or control is by means of a shareholding, partnership agreement, sole proprietorship or any other arrangement”

The Home Office is yet to issue guidance on how these more stringent requirements will be applied.

It is also no longer possible for the partner of the sole representative to obtain a dependent visa if the partner owns the majority stake in the overseas business.

EU Settlement Scheme

One of the most significant changes to the immigration rules, which has caught the attention of national media, is that family members of residents of Northern Ireland will be able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme from 24 August 2020. They will not have to meet the onerous and costly requirements that other British nationals need to satisfy under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

EEA retained right of residence and domestic violence 

The current rules only allow ex-spouses of EEA nationals to retain their right of residence if they were a victim of domestic violence. This provision has been extended to allow all family members of EEA nationals, where the relationship broke down due to victim of domestic violence, to retain their right of residence. 

Appendix FM family members 

The suitability requirement has been amended to state that, where an applicant was sentenced to a period of imprisonment of between 12 months and 4 years, their application for limited leave to remain should only be refused for 10 years after the end of the sentence, rather than forever.

Appendix W

Those applying under the Start-up, Innovator and Global Talent category, where they last had student leave, and were sponsored by a government or international agency in the 12 months before the date of the application, must provide a written consent from their sponsor to make the application. This applies to applications submitted within and outside the UK.

In addition higher education providers can now be endorsing bodies for Innovator visa applications.

Get in touch

If you would like to speak to one of our friendly, expert lawyers about any of the updates above and how they may impact on you, your family or your business then please do contact us at [email protected] or book a no-cost appointment at a a time of your choice below.

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