New Opportunities in the 2022 UK Immigration Rules

October 14, 2021

New UK Immigration Rules were published on 11th April which will take effect on dates between April and May.   

There is an enormous amount of detail in these – over 200 pages in total – but there are significant changes which may, we feel, help our clients in the near future.

A New High Potential Individual route opens on 30th May 2022. Applicants must, in the 5 years immediately before the date of the application, have been awarded an overseas degree level academic qualification which is confirmed as meeting or exceeding the recognised equivalent standard in the UK.  In addition, the awarding institution must appear as one of 50  leading institution on the Global Universities List, which will be complied from three current ranking systems.    

The Scale-up visa is a new visa category, available to those with a sponsored job offer from a suitably authorised company in the UK. Only companies which can show growth of at least 20% over the previous 3 years period in both turnover or staffing may issue such sponsorship. The relevant job should be paid £33,000 minimum per year and must require skills at graduate level.

Several of the Global Business Mobility routes replace existing provisions in the Immigration Rules.  The Senior or Specialist Worker, Graduate Trainee and UK Expansion Worker have replaced longstanding application routes, as has the seldom used “Service Supplier” category.  The provision which is new is that for Secondment Workers, whereby those seconded to the UK as part of a high value contract or investment by their overseas employer may now apply for permission to work on that basis.

Whilst not part of the Immigration Rules, there were important changes announced to the right-to-work checks announced which took effect on 6th April.  Several documents which could previously be accepted as evidence of right to work in the UK – the Biometric Residence Permit, Biometric Residence Card and Frontier Worker Permit – may now only be checked online rather than physically in person.  This now means there are effectively

What to make of these changes?  We can see several potential opportunities for our clients within these which may become of wider assistance over time:

Global Mobility Routes

Right to Work

High Potential Individual

Trend in immigration compliance

The trend in respect of immigration compliance is likely to follow that within the UK Visas and Immigration Sponsorship Roadmap.  This plan, originally announced last year, pointed to improving the user experience of the immigration system but also utilising data as an increasing tool for compliance.  We would expect to see this continue further in 2022; more premium services introduced to hep sponsors and applicants but also greater compliance activity which focusses on better use of data.  We have seen UK Visas and Immigration issue civil penalties in the past for illegal working based on PAYE information submitted and, more recently, have come across desktop auditing of sponsor compliance. As UKVI, like everyone else, seeks to accommodate flexible working within its workforce, we expect ore data-driven compliance activity and fewer surprise visits by immigration officials.

Our Expectation

Our expectation is that the significant increase in employment-based immigration to the UK is likely to continue in the near future, with barriers to migration for highly paid and skilled workers being removed as this happens.  We have noted a significant increase in queries regarding UK immigration as pandemic restrictions ease and visa processing becomes more straightforward.  Our team is expanding rapidly and anticipates offering new services as these new opportunities become available.

Get in Touch

With years of experience working in UK immigration and British nationality law, our advisors can help you understand the process and take the right steps to obtain your visa. Get in touch today.