2019 Immigration law changes – 5 changes to look out for
- NHS Immigration health surcharge has DOUBLED
An individual from outside the European Economic Area, who is seeking to live in the UK for 6 months or more is required to pay a health surcharge as part of their visa application. From 8 January 2019, this fee has increased from £200 to £400 per year. The fee will also be payable by any dependants who will join the migrant worker. A discounted rate applies for those applying as a student of under the Youth Mobility Scheme. They will be required to pay £300 per year instead of £150 per year.
- The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is to be replaced
In December 2018, the UK Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes, announced that the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route will be replaced by an Innovator Route. No further details where provided on when the change shall be made, or what it entails, however it will have a “similar emphasis on endorsement by a business sponsor, who will assess the applicants’ business ideas for their innovation, viability and scalability.”
- Potential changes to the Tier 1 Investor Route
In December 2018, with just 24 hours’ notice, the Tier 1 Investor visa was suspended with the Government announcing that new rules would come into force in 2019. However, after a few days the Home Office stated that although the Tier 1 Investor visa was not currently suspended, the Government is committed to reforming the route.
- Religious and Charity workers to be subject to a cooling off period
Workers who are currently in the UK as Tier 5 Religious Worker or Tier 5 Charity Workers visa will be subject to what is know as the ‘cooling off’ period. This would require the workers to spend a minimum of 12 months outside the UK before returning to the UK on another Tier 5 or Tier 2 visa. The Home Office have stated that they have taken this step to re-enforce that these are only temporary routes.
- Seasonal workers
A new 2-year pilot scheme is to be introduced this year, through which non-EEA migrant workers can come to the UK to undertake seasonal employment in the horticultural sector. There has been no announcement of the scheme’s implementation date.
If you would like to discuss any of these immigration changes, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone on 020 7903 6888.
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