New changes to the immigration rules  (HC 1248 4th March 2021)

The Home Office published a Statement of Changes to the current immigration rules (HC 1248). Most of the changes relate to the worker and student visa routes under their new Points Based Immigration System. 

Graduate route

The Home Office have introduced a new Graduate route for international students that are currently on a Student visa, that will have successfully completed an eligible course as a student in the UK. Applicants must score 70 points to be considered for the Graduate visa. The eligibility criteria for this includes: 

  • Successfully completing studies as a student with an education provider that has a “track record of compliance” 
  • Receiving a Bachelor’s degree, Masters degree, or certain types of qualifications 
  • The student must have been in the UK for a minimum period of time (where remote learning took place due to the coronavirus between 24 January 2020 – 27 September 2021, this will not have a detrimental effect on the application)

Graduates will get 2-years permission to remain in the UK, unless the applicant is a PhD graduate then they will be allowed to stay in the UK for 3-years. This Graduate route will be available to applicants from the 1st of July 2021 with the new changes to the immigration rules.

Minimum pay for Skilled Workers

The minimum salary level for Skilled Workers should be calculated hourly and not annually. The minimum salary cannot be less than £10.10 per hour even if their annual salary is above the lowest threshold i.e. £25,600 or the going rate for the particular occupation code relevant to the applicant.

Changes to the Shortage Occupation List

The shortage occupation list has been expanded to include eight new jobs in the Health and Care sector. These eight new roles include:

  • 1181: Health services and public health managers and directors 
  • 1242: Residential, day, and domiciliary care managers and proprietors
  • 3111: Laboratory technicians
  • 6146: Senior care workers 
  • 2213: Pharmacists
  • 2219: Health professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2221: Physiotherapists
  • 6141: Nursing auxiliaries and assistants

Global talent visa route

Global talent visa applicants would normally require an endorsement by a UK organisation before they can continue with their application. However, the new changes mean an applicant will not need to acquire an endorsement if they have been awarded a “prestigious prize”. These “prestigious prizes” include Nobel Prizes, Oscars, Golden Globes and Tony Awards to name a few. The full list can be found here under “Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes”.

Other worker routes

Under the Temporary Creative and Sporting visa routes, the migrant worker and their sponsor will be allowed to ‘stop the clock’ between engagements where the migrant worker is not present in the UK. This new arrangement is designed to better reflect the working needs of the sector. 

The allocations under the Youth Mobility Scheme have been determined:

  • Australia: 30,000 places
  • New Zealand: 13,000 places
  • Canada: 6,000 places
  • Japan: 1,500 places
  • Monaco: 1,000 places
  • Taiwan: 1,000 places
  • Hong Kong: 1,000 places
  • South Korea: 1,000 places
  • San Marino: 1,000 places
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