Home UK Immigration UNITED KINGDOM: Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules March 2022 | Individuals

UNITED KINGDOM: Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules March 2022 | Individuals

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Author: Newland chase

Following the Home Office’s Statement of Changes of 15 March 2022, in this alert we focus on those scheduled changes to the Immigration Rules specifically impacting, and representing opportunity for, individuals.

  1. New High Potential Individual route

Effective from: 30 May 2022

Summary: this route is for recent graduates of top global universities, who want to come to work, or look for work in the UK, following the successful completion of an eligible course of study equivalent to UK bachelor’s degree level or above. The study must have been with an institution listed on the Global Universities List. It is comparable to the old HSMP Programme.


  • No job offer required;
  • No sponsorship required;
  • English language ability is required (level B1 in speaking, listening, reading, writing);
  • A maintenance requirement applies for anyone applying for entry clearance, or permission to stay where they have lived in the UK for less than 12 months (£1,270 held for a period of 28 days prior to the date of the application);
  • Partners and children can be sponsored as dependants;
  • work (including self-employment and voluntary work) is permitted, apart from work as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach);
  • study is permitted, except study with an education provider which is Student sponsor, and which would meet the approved qualification and level of study requirements of the Student route which are set out in Appendix Student;
  • if the qualifying degree is a PhD, the applicant will be granted three years of permission; in all other cases, it is two years; and
  • this route does lead to settlement.

  1. Appendix Scale-up

Effective from: 22 August 2022

Summary: in line the UK Government’s Plan for Growth, the Scale-Up route is a new route for “those with a job offer at the required skills level from a recognised UK scale-up [company] to qualify for a fast-track visa”, with a view to “enable the Scale-up business to continue growing”.


  • an authorised UK scale-up company must make an offer to an applicant in order to sponsor this role;
  • the scale-up company seeking to become authorised by the Home Office will need to demonstrate that:
    • they have an annualised growth of at least 20% for the previous 3-year period, in terms of turnover or staffing;
    • they have had a minimum of 10 employees at the start of this 3-year period
  • it is understood that the Government may introduce further ways in which scale-up companies may be able to register for this route;
  • the job offer above must be skilled to graduate level (RQF 6 and equivalent);
  • the job offer must be for a role paid an appropriate salary – at least £33,000 per year or the going rate for the particular occupation, whichever is higher;
  • English language ability is required (level B1 in speaking, listening, reading, writing);
  • partners and children can be sponsored as dependants;
  • a maintenance requirement applies for anyone applying for entry clearance, or permission to stay where they have lived in the UK for less than 12 months (£1,270 held for a period of 28 days prior to the date of the application);
  • permission will be granted for 2 years – to extend this, applicants must have PAYE earnings of at least £33,000 per year for at least 50% of their time in the route, for which they will be granted a further 3 years’ leave;
  • the role must be full-time and the applicant must continue to work in the sponsored role for the first six months – after that, their immigration status will no longer be tied to that employer; and
  • the route leads to Indefinite Leave to Remain – to qualify for this, applicants will need to have PAYE earnings of at least £33,000 in 24 months of the 3-year period immediately prior to their application as well as the standard settlement requirements relating to 5 years’ continuous residence and demonstrating knowledge of life in the UK.

  1. Innovator route – changes to extension requirements

Effective from: 6 April 2022

Summary: changes are being brought in to allow Innovator visa holders to be granted further permission to stay by the Secretary of State if they do not qualify for settlement rather than just be refused, as is the current position.


  • The Applicant must still meet the suitability and eligibility requirements for Leave to Remain as an Innovator
  • Where further leave to remain is granted, there will be no additional application fee and the settlement application fee will not be refunded
  • If applicable, the Secretary of State will write to the applicant informing them of this variation, and if required, will request the applicant pay the required Immigration Health Charge.

  1. Global Talent – changes to endorsement and documentary requirements

Effective from: 6 April 2022

Summary: the Global Talent route is for talented and promising individuals wishing to work in the UK in the fields of science, digital technology, and arts and culture. ‘Talent’ applicants are already leaders in their respective field, while ‘promise’ applicants have shown the potential to become leaders in their field.

Changes are being made to the criteria for endorsement and to the documentation required.


The evidential requirements for digital technology endorsements are being amended to:

  • include a requirement that exceptional promise applicants must be at an early stage in their career, to mirror a similar requirement for applicants in science, medicine and humanities. This is to clarify that applicants at later stages of their careers should apply under the exceptional talent endorsement criteria;
  • clarify that evidence of exceptional talent or promise should cover achievements in the 5 years directly prior to date of application. This mirrors similar 15 endorsement requirements in other sectors and is intended to make clear that applicants should have recent experience and achievements which support their claim of exceptional talent or promise;
  • clarify the details required within the letters of support from organisations within the digital technology field for applicants applying for a full peer review endorsement. This is to ensure that the letters of support provide sufficient information to allow Tech Nation to consider the applicant’s claim of exceptional talent or promise;
  • amend the evidential requirements for science, humanities, engineering and medicine endorsements for clarity, including re-inserting the word “eligible” when discussing roles which qualify under the appointments fast track route; and
  • updates the list of prizes in Appendix Global Talent.

  1. Appendix Private Life

Effective from: 20 June 2022

Summary: Paragraph 276ADE(1) of the Immigration Rules, which governs permission to stay on private life grounds, is going to be replaced by a new ‘Appendix Private Life’.


The new ‘Appendix Private Life’ will retain four grounds on which permission can be granted to an individual based on their private life. These are:

  • to a child resident in the UK for at least seven years who cannot reasonably be expected to leave the UK (previously referred to as the ‘seven-year children’ concession), which will now be paragraph 3.1 in the Appendix;
  • to a young adult aged between 18 to 24 years and resident in the UK for at least half their life, which will now be paragraph 4.1 in the Appendix;
  • to someone resident in the UK for more than 20 years, which will now be paragraph 5.1(a) in the Appendix; and
  • to someone whom will face very significant obstacles to integration in their country of return if returned by the Home Office, which will now be paragraph 5.1(b) in the Appendix

Until now, successful applicants on private life grounds had been granted permission to stay in the UK for a period of 30 months, following which they had to reapply if they wished to extend their stay. The newly formed ‘Appendix Private Life’ will allow young adults and seven-year children to choose whether to apply for leave to remain in the UK for a period of 30 months or 60 months.  There are no additional requirements for the latter, and the only difference between the two appears to be the application fee.

There will also be changes relating to the qualifying period for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) applications under this category. Previously, applicants had to complete ten years on the private life route before they could apply for ILR. Appendix Private Life will change that as follows.

  1. a child who was born in the UK will be able to apply for ILR immediately after spending the first seven years of their life here, even if they have never previously held any valid leave to remain. This avoids the need for children in this situation to repeatedly apply for extensions and to face great uncertainty about the future. They must still show that it will not be reasonable to expect them to leave the UK. Such a child may be eligible for citizenship at 10 years of age, so the change will support their journey to citizenship;
  2. a child born in the UK who has been continuously resident in the UK for less than 7 years may be added as a dependant to a person on the private life route in certain circumstances, making it clearer how these children are able to regularise their immigration status;
  3. where a dependent child born in the UK is being granted permission and both parents have permission in the UK (unless the parent on the private life route has sole responsibility, or the other parent is a British Citizen/ordinarily resident or there are compelling and compassionate circumstances), the child will be granted permission in line with the parent who has shorter leave;
  4. where a dependent child under 18 is applying, suitable care and accommodation arrangements must be in place which comply with UK laws;
  5. for seven-year old children who were not born in the UK, there will be a new accelerated route enabling them to get ILR after five rather than ten years’ leave;
  6. everyone else on the private life route will still need to complete ten years’ residence in the UK after being granted permission before they can get ILR. However, more positively, applicants will be able to combine time on family and private life routes towards the qualifying period, rather than having to ‘reset the clock’ on the qualifying period if their circumstances change, though they will need to complete at least one year in their current route. Previously, that ten years’ continuous leave had to have been spent just on the private life route;
  7. a prison sentence of at least 12 months will prevent a person from ever getting ILR on the private life route (previously they could do so if 15 years had passed since the end of the sentence). People in this position are presumably expected to continue to make extensions for an infinite period;
  8. a prison sentence of less than 12 months [or where someone has been found to be involved in a sham marriage or civil partnership, practised deception or breached conditions, or where they have an outstanding litigation or NHS debt] will prevent a person from getting ILR for the first five years after the sentence is completed. The same applies to a child or young adult who will be prevented from obtaining ILR on the accelerated five-year route;
  9. a new category called ‘child born in the UK to a person on the Private Life route’ will be created; and
  10. applicants for settlement will be able to rely on GCSE, A Levels or equivalent Scottish Higher qualifications in English language or literature following education in a UK school to show they meet the English language requirement (these changes will be reflected in Appendix English language)

  1. Appendix Settlement Family Life

Effective from: 20 June 2022

Summary: requirements for ILR for those seeking ILR on the ten-year family route are being placed into two other newly created appendices: ‘Appendix Settlement Family Life’ and ‘Appendix Relationship with Partner’.


  1. introduces a new “continuous residence requirement” for ILR for those who are in the UK as a partner or parent on the ten-year route. Previously, there was no need for applicants to have spent a certain amount of time in the UK physically but going forward they will be limited to having a maximum of 180 days’ absences in any 12-month period;
  2. the exceptions to this are for those who need to travel outside of the UK due to work, study, supporting family overseas, a pandemic or due to a life-threatening illness. Applicants must show that, despite the permitted exception, the UK remains their permanent place of residence and they maintain their family life in the UK. On this note, this appendix will not strictly be applied retrospectively. So, absences pre-dating the new appendix will be disregarded if they were followed by a grant of permission on the private or family life grounds;
  3. clarifies that where a person has permission as a parent of a child under 18, they can qualify for settlement even where their child has turned 18;
  4. confirms dependent children will be able to qualify for settlement where their parent is legitimately accessing public funds;
  5. confirms an applicant relying on a relationship as a partner must have had permission based on their relationship with their current partner for at least one year; and
  6. where a dependent child under 18 is applying, suitable care and accommodation arrangements must be in place which comply with UK laws.

  1. Appendix Relationship with Partner

Effective from: 20 June 2022

Summary: this new appendix replaces the relationship requirements in Appendix FM. It is designed to provide greater consistency in the way applicants prove a relationship with a partner.


A partner can be the applicant’s spouse or civil partner or a person in a durable relationship similar to a marriage or a civil partnership of at least two years. The requirements are that:

  1. the partners have met;
  2. are both aged over 18;
  3. are not related within the prohibited degrees that prevent marriage or civil partnership;
  4. any previous relationships must have broken down (with a limited exception for polygamous and polyandrous marriages); and
  5. the relationship must be genuine and subsisting

This new appendix currently only applies to those seeking ILR on the ten-year partner route, however, the explanatory memorandum promisingly expresses an intention to extend it to “other routes” in future.

Organisations and individuals impacted by the above developments are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice. For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to the UK, please contact us.

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Case for any case- or company-specific assessments.

Source: https://newlandchase.com/united-kingdom-statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-march-2022-individuals/

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