Details of new immigration routes published

The Government has published a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules containing much awaited further details of new immigration routes which are due to be introduced between April and August this year.

New Global Business Mobility routes will be introduced on 11 April 2022 and will replace or amend a number of existing routes and create some new routes.  These changes should enable international businesses to send staff to the UK in a wider range of scenarios and address some of the limitations of the existing Intra-Company Transfer and Visitor routes.  There will be five sub categories, none of which will lead to settlement in the UK:

  • Secondment Worker - a new route for overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is being seconded to the UK as part of a high value contract or investment by their employer overseas. 
  • Graduate Trainee – this replaces the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route.
  • Senior or Specialist Worker - replacing the Intra-Company Transfer route.
  • Service Supplier - replacing the contractual service supplier and independent professional provisions in the Temporary Worker - International Agreement route.
  • UK Expansion Worker -  replacing the Sole Representative provisions to enable international businesses to set up in the UK. 

Further new routes include:

  • High Potential Individual – a route which will allow graduates from non-UK universities listed as top 50 on at least two ranking systems to come unsponsored for two years if they hold a qualification awarded in the five years prior to the date of application that is equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s or Master’s level degree, or three years if they hold a qualification equivalent to a UK PhD.  English language and financial requirements will apply and the route does not lead to settlement in the UK.  The route will be introduced on 30 May 2022.  
  • Scale-up – this follows the commitment in the Government’s Plan for Growth to “introduce an elite points-based route to attract the brightest and best to the UK to maintain our status as a leading international hub for emerging technologies”.  Businesses will be eligible to register for this route if they have met specified growth thresholds for the previous three year period.  They will also need to have had a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the three year period.  The job must be at skill level RQF level 6 and attract an annual salary of £33,000 or the going rate (whichever is higher).  Initial permission will be granted for a two-year period although the route only requires sponsorship for the initial six-month period.  Extensions are permitted and applicants will be eligible for settlement after five years.  The route comes into force on 22 August 2022.   

We will be looking at these new routes and the implications for employers, together with changes to right to work checks which take effect on 6 April 2022 and other recent changes, at our Immigration Update webinar on 24 March 2022. 

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