Some parts of the Immigration Rules will change, following the publication today of Statement of Changes HC 17.
Most of the changes affect people seeking asylum in the UK. A few will have an impact on some students and graduates, and we have set them out below.
El Salvador added to Visa Nationals list on 11 May
El Salvador is added to the list of visa nationals. This affects applications made on or after 4 pm (British Summer Time) on 11 May. A transitional provision means that a visa is not required if a national or citizen of El Salvador has a confirmed booking to travel to the UK made before 4 pm on 11 May where arrival in the UK is no later than 8 June 2022.
Nationals and citizens of El Salvador also require a transit visa from 12 May, subject to the same transitional exemption if they have booked travel before that date and will arrive in the UK before 9 June 2022.
Amendments made to the Ukraine schemes on 11 May
These changes affect applications made under the Ukraine schemes on or after 4 pm on 11 May.
New requirements have been added to the Homes for Ukraine Sponorship Scheme:
UKR 11.3A Where an application under the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme is varied to permission to stay under paragraph UKR 14.1, they must meet all the following requirements:
(a) the applicant must have provided any required biometrics; and
(b) the applicant must have provided a passport or other document which satisfactorily established their identity and nationality; and
(c) the applicant must be in the UK.
This has been added because people who travel to the UK with a permission to travel letter need to make a second, free online application after they arrive in the UK.
Parental consent requirement for a child applying to join a parent or legal guardian in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme
UKR 19A.1. If the applicant is aged under 18 on the date of application and they are joining (and not accompanying) a parent or legal guardian in the UK, they must have written consent from the parent or legal guardian in the UK who they are joining, unless the decision-maker is satisfied it is reasonable in the circumstances to grant the child entry clearance without that consent. UKR 19A.2 The written consent must confirm support for all of the following:
(a) the application; and
(b) that applicant will live with the parent in the UK; and
(c) the applicant’s travel to, and reception arrangements in, the UK.
The Ukraine Extension Scheme for applications in the UK has also been amended. An applicant whose permission has expired is no longer required to have been in the UK immediately before 1 January 2022, and a baby born at any time in the UK is elibible to apply under this scheme (the previous Rules said that the baby must have been born after 18 March 2022, which we and others queried with the Home Office). The new Rules say:
UKR 21.3. The applicant must have had permission to enter or stay in the UK on 18 March 2022, unless:
(a) they had permission to enter or stay in the UK immediately before 1 January, but that permission has since expired; or
(b) they are a child born in the UK to a parent who qualifies under this paragraph.
Bahrain and Saudi Arabia added to electronic visa waiver nationals on 1 June
Nationals and citizens of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia will be able to apply for an electronic visa waiver (EVW) document instead of a visa to make single-entry, flight-specific journeys to the UK for stays of six months or less.
Start-up dependant requirements amended on 1 June
Paragraph (d) applies to applications made on or after 1 June 2022.
SU 13.2. An application for entry clearance or permission to stay as a partner or child of a person on the Start-up route must meet all the following requirements:
(a) any fee and Immigration Health Charge must have been paid; and
(b) the applicant must have provided any required biometrics; and
(c) the applicant must have provided a passport or other travel document which satisfactorily establishes their identity and nationality; and
(d) the applicant must be applying as partner or child of a person (P) who:
(i) has made a valid application for entry clearance or permission to stay on the Start-up not been decided; or
(ii) has entry clearance or permission to stay on the Start-up route; or
(iii) is settled or has become a British citizen, providing that P had permission on the Start-up route when they settled and the applicant either had permission as their partner or child at that time, or the applicant is applying as a child of P and the applicant was born in the UK before P settled.
This change adds a validity requirement to applications made by a partner or child. It means that the applications may be rejected as invalid (instead of being refused) if the Start-up applicant or migrant in the family has not been granted permission or has not made a valid application on the Start-up route. It provides for the family members of a person who has already been granted settled status or British citizenship and for babies born in the UK.