Autumn Budget 2021


30 November 2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented his Autumn Budget and Spending Review to Parliament on 27 October 2021.

The 200-page Budget Report explains how the Government is implementing changes to the UK’s immigration system to attract highly skilled people.

It was said that it is vital for innovative businesses to have access to the talent and skills they need: “High skilled migration boosts innovation, jobs and competitiveness. 49% of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses have at least one foreign-born co-founder and approximately 40% of staff in UK fintechs are from overseas”.

As a result, some key visa routes (which are set to be rolled out in 2022) were announced.

Scale-up visa

The Budget identified the need for innovative businesses to have access to the skills and talent they require. The Scale-up route is set to launch in Spring 2022 to help with the UK’s fastest growing businesses to access overseas talent. It will be open to applicants who pass the English language proficiency requirement and have a ‘highly skilled’ job offer from an eligible business with a salary of at least £33,000.

Global Business Mobility visa

The Global Business Mobility visa will be aimed at overseas businesses as well as innovative companies to allow for flexibility in transferring workers to the UK to establish and expand their businesses and support inward investment.

High Potential Individual visa

This visa category will not require applicants to have a UK job offer if they are viewed as “high potential”. This will usually include individuals who have graduated from a top global university and/or those who are global innovators and entrepreneurs who are looking to work or set up a business in the UK.

Dependent family members in work routes

The Home Office has recently updated their guidance for dependent family members in work routes, particularly relating to unmarried partners. This is valuable as it creates some additional flexibility for applicants with varying personal circumstances.

“The 2-year period of living together for a couple who are not married or in a civil partnership must normally have been completed immediately prior to the date of application.

However, the 2-year period does not have to have been completed immediately preceding the date of application if, for example (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • the couple are currently living apart for work reasons
  • one of the couple needs to attend training in another territory
  • one partner demonstrates they have significant caring responsibilities, provided that the relationship has existed continuously since the 2-year period of cohabitation and continues to be genuine and subsisting at the date of application. 

The applicant must demonstrate that:

  • it was not reasonably possible for the other partner to accompany or join them and
  • there is evidence that the relationship continued throughout that period, for example, by visits, letters, logged phone calls, shared financial accounts.

Any refusal must be discussed with an Entry Clearance Manager (ECM)/HEO Technical Specialist or a Senior Caseworker to agree that it is not unreasonable.”

These articles are from the November 2021 issue of Employment and Immigration Law Update, our monthly newsletter for HR professionals. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website. For further information please contact a member of Birketts' Immigration Team.

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