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Changes to England's immigration rules (NS 1248): terms of programs for 2021


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On March 4, 2021 the UK Home Office announced upcoming changes in the country's immigration law. The main part of the amendments will affect the work and study visa programs and will come into force on April 6, 2021, if no other date is specified. Many of the listed innovations will facilitate the immigration process and will be a support for current holders of British visas.

Changing the minimum hourly wage threshold for skilled workers under the Skilled Worker Visa

The purpose of the change is to protect employees from employers who can increase the number of hours they work without raising wages and keeping them at the annual minimum wage. Under the change, starting April 6, 2021, the minimum wage threshold under the Skilled Worker Visa must be at least £10.10 per hour and exceed £25,600 per year, or equal to or greater than the rate of the occupation code. Previously, only the annual salary of a qualified worker was statutorily required.

The new Graduate visa

The U.K. government hopes to retain talented graduates and expects them to continue contributing to the economy. The government has added a new section to the Immigration Rules entitled Appendix Graduate, which describes the conditions under which students of higher education in the UK can legally reside and work in the country after completing their studies. The main requirements for obtaining this type of visa are staying in the UK on a student visa and getting 70 points. Graduate visa is issued for a period of 3 years for PhD candidates and graduates of PhD programs and 2 years for all other graduates. Visa holders have the right to work in any qualification, except as a professional sportsman. Applications for graduate work visas can be submitted from July 1, 2021.

The document lists such criteria for the selection of applicants for the Graduate Visa as:

  • Successful completion of a course at an institution in the country accredited by the Home Office in accordance with the "track record of compliance";
  • Presence in the UK for the duration of the course, excluding the period of quarantine restrictions from January 2020 to September 2021;
  • Hold a Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree or professional qualification.

New requirements for the Global Talent Visa

Previously, in order to apply for the Global Talent Visa, you had to obtain confirmation of exceptional talent from the relevant UK organization. Since May 5, 2021, holders of prestigious international awards such as the Nobel Prize, Golden Globe, Oscar, etc. may also apply for the Global Talent Visa.

Changes to the conditions of the Hong Kong Visa for the British Overseas Citizens

According to the published changes, from now on Hong Kong BNO visa holders and their family members will be able to apply for access to public funds in the UK under the condition of a difficult financial situation.

Innovations in the Creative or Sporting Worker visa area

Until now, holders of the Creative or Sporting Worker visa were required not to exceed 14 days between paid obligations. Under the changes to the rules, only time spent in the UK will be counted. Such conditions will better reflect the specifics of the creative and sporting sector.

Youth Mobility Scheme Quota Number Approved

The UK Home Office has approved the following number of Youth Mobility Scheme visa quotas for 2021:

  • Australia - 30,000 places (no change);
  • New Zealand - 13,000 places (no change);
  • Canada - 6,000 places (+ 1,000 places);
  • Japan - 1,500 places (+ 500 places);
  • South Korea - 1,000 places (new country);
  • San Marino - 1,000 places (new country);
  • Taiwan - 1,000 places (new country);
  • Hong Kong -1000 places (new country);
  • Monaco - 1000 places (new country).

New conditions for the prolongation of a spousal visa

Now visa applicants will not have to prove their knowledge of English at the required level each time they renew their visa, if they have already done so in a previous successful visa application.

Source: Law Firm Limited

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