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Spring cleaning?: Home Office provides taster of significant changes planned for the UK immigration system

11 Dec 2018

In a written statement published on 6th December 2018, Caroline Noakes (The Minister of State for Immigration) gave us a glimpse of the detailed changes that will be contained in an upcoming Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules. 

For business immigration, these include:

  • A new “Start Up” visa route, foreshadowed in June, involving endorsement by a business or higher education institution sponsor, with the intention of building on the “successes” of the current Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa route;
  • A new “Innovator” visa route, to replace the current Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa category, and with a new emphasis on “endorsement by a business sponsor” who will assess business plans for their “innovation, viability, and scalability”;
  • Reform of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa route,  although no indication is given as to what this will entail;
  • Expansion of the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route so that it is open to leading architects endorsed by the Royal Institute of British Architects, under the remit of Arts Council England;
  • Formal announcement of 2019 pilot to be introduced for non-EEA seasonal workers in the horticultural sector, and confirmation that organisations chosen to operate the pilot have been carefully selected by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The statement says that the new visa routes and reforms to Tier 1 will be introduced in the Spring of 2019. However, it also confirms that a number of minor and more technical changes will be made to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 routes, and it is possible that these changes will come in to force much sooner.

Watch out for further information about our business immigration and Brexit seminar, and contact Adam Williams for further details on developments in business immigration.  

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