March 24, 2022

UK Immigration Rules: Statement of Changes Published

A Statement of Changes was published on March 15th for the practice to be followed in the administration of the Immigration Acts in the UK. These changes will take effect on various dates between April 11, 2022 and August 22, 2022. As per Kevin Foster, the MP for Safe and Legal Migration, the changes to the Immigration Rules will implement the government’s Plan for Growth measures and include the launch of new Global Business Mobility routes, High Potential Individual Route (HPI) and Scale-Up route.

The Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules are wide-ranging however, the following are just a few of the key changes of note expected over the period:

April 11, 2022

The introduction of the new Global Business Mobility route will become effective and will include 5 subcategories:

    • Graduate Trainee route, replacing the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route. This will be applicable for those on graduate training courses leading to senior management or specialist roles who are required to complete a placement in the UK. Minimum salary thresholds will need to be met.
    • Secondment Worker, a new route for "overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is being seconded to the UK as part of a high value contract or investment by their employer overseas."
    • Senior Executives or Specialist Worker undertaking temporary assignments at a UK branch or subsidiary, replacing the Intra-Company Transfer route. To be eligible the role will need to meet required skills level and minimum salary requirements. Applicants must have worked for the overseas entity for a minimum of 12 months unless they are a high earner with a salary over 73,900 GBP.
    • Service Supplier, replacing the contractual service supplier provisions in the Temporary Work International Agreement route. This is for workers on temporary assignment in the UK as a contractual service supplier or self-employed professional based overseas, providing services covered by the UK international trade commitments.
    • UK Expansion Worker, for teams sent to establish a new branch or subsidiary in the UK, replacing the Sole Representative provisions in the Representative of an Overseas Business route. Applicants will need to have worked for the overseas entity expanding into the UK for a minimum of 12 months prior to arrival (unless they are a high earner) and meet market rate for the role or the minimum salary threshold of 42,400 GBP, whichever is higher.

May 30, 2022

On this date, the first of two new immigration routes, the High Potential Individual (HPI) route, will be implemented. This route aims to make it as simple as possible for recent graduates from top global non-UK universities to come to the UK without holding a prior job offer. It is a selective route open to graduates from a limited number of universities (institutes listed in top 50 of at least 2 ranking systems). Successful applicants will be granted a two-year visa (three for those with a PhD) and will subsequently be permitted to move into other long-term employment routes if they meet eligibility requirements. The route aims to support UK businesses by widening the pool of talented individuals available to them.

August 22, 2022

The second new immigration route, the “Scale-up” route, also aims to provide UK businesses with a more flexible pool of highly skilled workers and will be implemented on the August 22nd. With this process, the applicant only requires sponsorship for the initial 6-month period of the route, and it enables extensions and settlement. It supports the Plan for Growth to “introduce an elite points-based route to attract the brightest and best to the UK to maintain our status as a leading international hub for emerging technologies” and will enable UK businesses to compete for the highly skilled workers they need. To be eligible for this route, companies will need to “demonstrate that they have an annualized growth of at least 20% for the previous 3-year period in terms of turnover or staffing. Companies will also need to have had a minimum of 10 employees at the start of this 3-year period.” Successful applicants will be granted entry clearance or permission to stay for 2 years initially and will be permitted to different sponsored roles in the first 6 months. After 6 months, they no longer need to be sponsored but to extend for a further 3 years, must meet minimum salary requirements as per Scale-up regulations.

For further information on immigration in the UK, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.

Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over fifteen years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends, and currently serves as a member of the Worldwide ERC (WERC) Immigration Advisory Council.

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