On 7 September 2023, the Home Office published a new Statement of Changes to the UK immigration Rules. The statement lists primary adjustments being made in relation to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and to Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) requirements, amongst others. In this blog, we provide an overview of the most pertinent changes.
EUSS and EUSS family permits
From 5 October 2023, the changes mean that if your application for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is denied or your existing EUSS status is cancelled, you won’t have the option to apply for an administrative review. Instead, you will still have the right to appeal the decision, in line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreement.
These changes make the process for challenging a decision more straightforward and consistent with how the rest of the immigration system works, where there is only one option for appeal (no dual right of redress).
Enhancements to the Youth Mobility Schemes
The UK’s existing reciprocal bilateral arrangements with Australia and Canada have been strengthened. The age range has been extended from 18-30 to 18-35, and the length of stay has been increased from 2 to 3 years. Andorra is being added to the list of countries participating in the scheme. These changes will take effect on 31 January 2024.
Changes to the long residence rules
In April 2023, the definition of ‘lawful residence’ for the purposes of long residence was changed to exclude time spent on immigration bail, as a visitor, short-term student or seasonal worker. The rules are being changed to clarify that this exclusion extends to time spent on previous versions of immigration bail (temporary admission and temporary release) and previous visitor, short-term student visa or seasonal worker routes. This change will come into effect on 5 October 2023.
Introduction of Appendix Children
The Home Office is introducing a new appendix that will include common requirements for both children applying as dependants of a lead applicant, and children applying in their own right. From 5 October 2023, it will apply to certain routes and will be extended further in the future.
Introduction of Appendix Returning Resident
The Home Office is adding an Appendix Returning Resident to the Immigration Rules. This is a new appendix being added as part of the simplification process, replacing paragraphs 18, 18A, 19, 19A and 20 of the immigration rules. This part of the Immigration Rules deals with former residents of the UK who are returning to live long-term. This change will take effect on 5 October 2023.
The ETA scheme will be launched in October 2023. The changes will remove the NHS debt as a ground for refusal of an ETA application as systems are not in place for checks on this to be done within the appropriate timeframe, but travellers should be aware that they may still be refused entry at the border for this reason. Changes have also been made to clarify that the ETA exemption for applicants lawfully resident in Ireland who are travelling within the Common Travel Area will require a person aged 16 or above to demonstrate residency in Ireland, if required by a UK official. This change will take effect on 5 October 2023.
English Language Requirement
The Home Office is updating Appendix English Language to allow an applicant in any additional six routes to demonstrate that they meet the English Language requirement if they have a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification at level 4, 5, or Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English. The six additional 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). This change will take effect on 5 October 2023.
The Statement of Changes goes on to clarify and align the current Immigration Rules in some detail and, as these are reviewed and analysed, we will be publishing further blogs with additional details.
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.