Global Alerts

United Kingdom – Upcoming Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules; and Suspension of Tier 1 (Investor) Route

The Immigration Minister has announced an upcoming Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules, which will include several changes to Tier 1 routes.

In addition, on December 6, 2018 various press outlets reported that the Home Office has suspended the Tier 1 (Investor) route until further notice. However, there is still no public announcement of this suspension. Apparently, the Tier 1 (Investor) route will reopen sometime in 2019 with major changes, including the removal of government bonds from the list of acceptable investments, and a requirement to provide comprehensive audit trails for the investment funds.

The previewed changes to the immigration rules include:

  • The introduction of the “Start-up” visa;
  • A new Tier 1 (Innovator) route for more experienced business people, to replace the current Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route;
  • Reform of the Tier 1 (Investor) route;
  • Expanding the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route to allow certain architects to apply;
  • ”Minor, more technical” changes to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 routes for highly-skilled workers;
  • prohibiting Tier 5 Religious Workers filling roles as Ministers of Religion and directing them instead to do so through the correct Tier 2 Minister of Religion sub-category;
  • The introduction of a “cooling-off” period for Tier 5 to prevent Religious and Charity Workers from getting a second visa until a year has passed since the first one expired;
  • Introducing the new pilot scheme for seasonal horticultural workers.

Action Items

Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact their UK immigration specialist for specific advice.

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