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New immigration routes for 2022

01 November 2021
New immigration routes for 2022

As a result of Brexit, the UK is free to put in place its own immigration system. Consequently, the government has introduced a number of new visa routes which shall be effective from 2022.

The aims of the new system 

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has declared that he intends to make Britain the “best place in the world for high-growth, innovative companies” by attracting outstanding talent in tech and science. In order to achieve this, the visa reforms announced are aimed “at highly skilled migrants”, making it easier for highly educated individuals to gain entry to the UK. 

As well as reviewing the routes into the UK, the government have also pledged to simplify the Immigration Rules to make them as “user-friendly and accessible as possible”, be flexible on how applicants can provide supporting evidence and the ability for certain applicants to upload their supporting evidence digitally. 

Reforms to the current sponsor routes 

With regard to the sponsor routes, specifically the skilled worker route, the government have vowed to improve the current system to permit employers to recruit overseas workers equipped to start work in the UK faster than any other G20 county. 

It is proposed the process will be speed up by allowing individuals to submit their passport and a facial image via their mobile phone rather than requiring them to attend an in-person appointment. Further, a sponsors use of the application system shall be simplified through the proposed introduction of automated checks with HMRC and Companies House to identify sponsors and users that can have fast track approval. However, the government have also announced that are consider introducing trust rating for sponsors based on their history of compliance. 

The introduction of an unsponsored points-based route

In spring 2022 a new, unsponsored points-based route will be introduced with the aim to attract the very high skilled and academically elite. Via this route, individuals with a job offer at the required skills level from a recognised UK scale-up to qualify for a fast-track visa, without the need for sponsorship. However, applicants will still need to meet the minimum required points to apply.

The introduction of a Global Business Mobility route

In addition to the above, the government are planning to create a single Global Business Mobility route by spring 2022. The Global Business Mobility route will simplify the UK immigration offer for business by bringing together, reforming and expanding a number of existing routes already in place for this purpose. The new route will incorporate: 

  • Existing provision for intra-company transferees.
  • Existing arrangements implementing the UK’s trade commitments in respect of contractual service suppliers and independent professionals.
  • Arrangements for employees of an overseas business assigned to the UK to establish a branch or subsidiary of that business. It is anticipated that the existing rules which restrict the overseas representation to one individual per business will be relaxed and the number of representatives permitted will depend on, for example the size of the investment the company makes into the UK. 
  • The addition of a provision to accommodate the import and export-related secondments.  

Expansion of the Youth Mobility Scheme 

The Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) is a programme through which nationals of participating countries, aged 18 to 30, can live and work in the UK for up to two years. Migrants who come to the UK via the YMS can work in the UK without sponsorship, but they cannot bring their dependents to the UK. 

From 2022, Iceland and India will be added as partners to the YMS without deemed sponsorship status. This means that applicants from Iceland and India will be required to provide evidence of sponsorship which was issued to them no more than six months before the date of their application. There are 1,000 places on the scheme for Icelandic nationals and 3,000 places for Indian nationals. 

There is an additional requirement for Indian applicants which can be met through education or work experience. To satisfy the requirement through education, applicants will need to hold a qualification equal or above RQF level 6 (degree level) and provide written evidence confirming the institution they studied and graduate from. If the applicant would like to meet the requirement through work experience, they must have worked a minimum of three years in a professional role equivalent to an occupation in the appendix of skilled occupations. The applicant would need to provided supporting evidence, such as pay slips and/or a letter from their employer confirming their employment. 

How we can assist 

Our team of expert immigration lawyers can work with you to ascertain your needs in order to advise you on the most appropriate route into the UK. Should you want to speak to a member of our immigration team about your potential routes to the UK, please contact us via email at contact@davenportsolicitors.com or telephone via 02079036888.

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