Employment and Immigration Law Update – More changes to Immigration Rules
29 May 2020
At a time when most of us are dealing with issues arising from the coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office has still found time to introduce new Immigration Rules.
EU Settlement Scheme
Changes are being made to the EUSS, to ensure that from 24 August 2020 people in Northern Ireland can now choose to rely on their right to Irish citizenship and be treated as EU citizens, without this being trumped by their right to British citizenship. This is important, because it means people in Northern Ireland will be able to rely on the EUSS to bring their non-EU family members to the UK.
Amendments are also coming into force to support victims of domestic abuse. Originally the EUSS only gave retained rights of residence to ex-spouses of EEA nationals who were victims of domestic abuse. From 4 June 2020 that right will be extended to any family member whose relationship with a relevant EEA national broke down as a result of domestic abuse.
There are also some practical amendments, to allow the Home Office to request certified translations of documents that are not in English and to allow applicants to start submitting some paper forms via email.
The rules around sole representatives of overseas businesses are being tightened up with effect from 4 June 2020. There has been an increase in this type of application lately and it appears the Home Office is concerned about potential abuse.
In particular there is now a “genuineness assessment”, which will give decision makers much more discretion to reject applications. In particular, the rules now say the UK branch or subsidiary should not be established solely for the purposes of allowing the individual to come to the UK. Another change is to require the applicant to have “relevant skills, experience and knowledge of the business”. Whilst this may seem reasonable it is another area where decision makers are getting more discretion.
The Rules have always prevented a sole rep from being a majority shareholder in the overseas business they are representing. This is being broadened, to ensure they do not have a majority stake by any means, whatever the ownership structure of the business. A loophole is also being closed, as it will no longer be possible for the partner of the majority shareholder to enter as a sole rep.
The amendments to the provisions for Global Talent are generally being made at the request of the endorsing bodies. Letters of recommendation should now be limited to 3 sides of A4 and documentation from third parties must show their logo and registered address.
The British Fashion Council has said it will only consider applications for those involved in fashion design, not in the industry more widely.
Applicants for the exceptional promise category in the field of Arts and Culture will be allowed to provide evidence of appearances in which they were not named, if there is evidence from a senior individual involved in the work, who outlines the significant and direct contribution the applicant made.
Start-up and Innovator
From 4 June 2020 Higher Education Institutions will be allowed to endorse applicants for Innovator visas, as well for Start-up visas.
Changes are being made to make it clear that an applicant’s business may already be trading, but they must have been one of the founders. They must also now produce their own business plan. They must have generated the ideas in the plan, or made a significant contribution to them and must be responsible for executing the plan. This should prevent applicants from relying on plans drawn up by other people.
This article is from the May 2020 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.
The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at May 2020.