Changes to Appendix FM and the introduction of Appendix Statelessness

19 Jan 2024, 10 mins ago

As of 31 January 2024, the landscape of immigration rules in the United Kingdom is undergoing a transformation with the introduction of Appendix Statelessness, set to replace the existing provisions for Stateless Persons in Part 14 of the Immigration Rules.

This comprehensive overhaul aims to streamline and enhance the immigration process for Stateless Persons, particularly impacting their partners and children. In this blog post we’ll delve into the key changes brought about by Appendix Statelessness, shedding light on alternative routes for partners and children, continued permissions for existing dependants and the opportunity for applicants to combine time spent on various routes to qualify for settlement.

Alternative Routes for Partners and Children:

As per the Statement of Changes published on 7 December 2023, partners and children of Stateless Persons will no longer be eligible to apply for entry clearance, permission to stay or settlement under the previous provisions in Appendix Stateless Persons. Instead, a new avenue opens up for partners or children who are not stateless themselves or reside overseas. They can now apply to come to or remain in the UK under the family provisions outlined in Appendix FM. Amendments to Appendix FM facilitate the sponsorship of a partner and dependent child by a Stateless person. It is crucial for applicants under Appendix FM to meet the specified partner or child requirements and fulfil the necessary financial obligations, including the application fee, unless a fee waiver is granted.

Continued Permission for Current Partners and Children:

Partners or children who currently hold permission under the previous provisions (Part 14: Stateless Persons) will retain the option to extend their permission or settle in the UK under those established rules. This continuity provides a degree of flexibility for those already navigating the immigration process, ensuring a smooth transition and stability in their status.

Combining Time on Other Routes:

One of the ground-breaking changes introduced by Appendix Statelessness is the provision allowing Stateless applicants to combine time spent on other routes that qualify for settlement after a 5-year qualifying period. To be eligible for this, applicants must have entered the UK legally and held permission on the stateless route for a minimum of 1 year at the time of applying for settlement. This change recognises and rewards individuals who have adhered to legal entry requirements and encourages a more holistic approach to settlement eligibility.

The implementation of Appendix Statelessness marks a significant milestone in the evolution of UK immigration rules, bringing about changes that impact Stateless Persons, their partners and children. Understanding the alternative routes, continued permissions and the opportunity to combine time spent on various routes is crucial for individuals navigating this intricate process. As these changes take effect on 31 January 2024, staying informed and seeking professional guidance will be essential for a successful immigration journey under the new framework. The introduction of Appendix Statelessness reflects the UK’s commitment to ensuring a fair, transparent and streamlined immigration system that meets the evolving needs of its diverse population.

How Gherson can assist

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The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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