The Home Office have issued a new Statement of Changes to the Immigration rules which was published on 08 September 2023.
Various changes have been made, but the most significant change is the removal of administrative review from decisions made under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).
Many of the other changes are minor technical or drafting updates. The changes will take effect on various dates between 28 September 2023 and 31 January 2024.
Changes are being made to Appendix AR and Appendix AR(EU) to remove the right of administrative review for all decisions where it currently applies for the EUSS, the EUSS Family Permit and the S2 Healthcare Visitor visa. This applies to decisions made on or after 05 October 2023. Applicants in all three routes will still have the ability to appeal EUSS decisions, in line with the Citizen’s Rights Agreement.
Appendix EU is also being amended in line with the existing policy position that where a dependant parent or child has already been granted limited leave under Appendix EU, they will not need to evidence dependency again for further applications. This change will take effect from 05 October 2023.
The relationship requirements for leave to remain as a child have been amended so that those with leave as an adult dependent relative are no longer excluded from bringing a child to the UK. This change will take effect from 05 October 2023.
Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) visa
From 31 January 2024, Andorra is being added to the list of participating countries under the scheme. On the same date, Australian and Canadian nationals will also be able to apply for the YMS visa up until the age of 35 years and the period of leave granted will increase from two to three years.
The definition of ‘lawful residence’ was changed in April 2023 to exclude time spent as a visitor, short-term student or seasonal worker. The rules are now being amended to clarify that this exclusion extends to time spent on previous visitor, short-term student visa or seasonal worker routes. This change will take effect from 05 October 2023.
This is a new appendix to the immigration rules. It has requirements that apply to children applying both in their own rights as well as dependants of a main applicant. It will apply only to certain routes from 5 October 2023 and will be rolled out further in future.
Appendix Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)
From 05 October 2023, NHS debt as a reason to refuse an application for an ETA is being removed as checks cannot be made in advance of travel. The reasoning has been outlined as below:
‘The ETA application is intended to be a light touch application, that is processed quickly for the traveller. The current systems in use are not capable of processing information on NHS debt quickly enough to deliver an ETA decision at the required speed.’
The explanatory memorandum does however warn that entry could still be refused at the border if NHS debt is discovered during arrival checks.
Changes to improve clarity and consistency
Appendix English Language
Six new routes have been added to the list which can meet the English language requirement through having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification at level 4 or 5 or Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English. The new routes are:
- Appendix Representative of an Overseas Business
- Appendix T2 Minister of Religion
- Appendix UK Ancestry, Appendix Global Talent, Appendix Domestic Workers in a Private Household and Appendix Hong Kong British National (Overseas).
Appendix Returning Resident
This route is being simplified with a new Returning Resident Appendix. This Appendix is being added to simplify and replace other paragraphs in the immigration rules.
Appendix Tuberculosis will now replace Appendix T and other provisions elsewhere in the rules around tuberculosis testing. This is another part of the simplification of the rules exercise.
For further information, please contact:
Amy Sarraff, Withersworldwide