What to expect in UK immigration in 2022

By Chetal Patel, U.K. Immigration Lawyer

The government has announced several new Immigration routes to the UK that will start in 2022, including a revitalisation of the current Innovator route.

New Immigration routes:

The Global Mobility Visa route will launch in Spring 2022 and will consolidate the Intra-Company Transfer and other business mobility visas into a single route under 5 categories:

  1. senior or specialist worker
  2. graduate trainee
  3. UK expansion worker
  4. secondment worker
  5. service supplier

The route will allow an overseas business to temporarily send an employee to the UK for a specific corporate purpose that could not be done by a resident worker or to send a senior or specialist worker to facilitate an expansion of their business to the UK.

The Global Talent Network is for applicants who are identified as talented people in the ‘key’ science and technology sectors. The government will work alongside business and research institutions to identify where the UK’s skill needs are to target people working in these areas. The route will launch in Boston and the Bay Area in the USA and in Bengalaru in India.

The High Potential Individual route will be open to graduates from a top global university that will allow successful applicants to enter the UK without a job requirement and to then work in any sector or to be self-employed. The route will likely allow individuals to apply for settlement in the UK after 5 years. However, it is not clear who will be eligible for this route yet as it has not been stated what will be considered a top global university.

The Innovator route will be revitalised so that it has a more streamlined business eligibility criteria. In addition, applicants will not need to have at least £50,000 in investment funds to apply so long as the endorsing body is satisfied that there are adequate funds for the business to expand and successful applicants will now be able to work outside of their primary business.

The Scale-up route will be open to talented individuals with a high-skilled job offerin a qualifying scale-up to come to the UK and once here, they can extend their visa and switch jobs or employers. For the company to be considered a scale-up, it must be able to demonstrate a revenue or employment growth rate of more than 20% over a 3-year period. At least 10 employees at the start of the 3-year period will be able to expedite their verification process to use this route but they will need to meet the requirements, including English Language and a minimum salary of £33,000. It is expected that the route will allow individuals to apply for settlement after 5 years.

The Home Office has published a sponsor liscence reform roadmap that sets out the key changes they intend to introduce in 2022 and beyond, which will include: a reduction in processing times so that businesses can obtain a sponsor licence more quickly; a review of the documentary evidence required to obtain a licence; the introduction of an online dashboard for sponsors to improve accessibility of the system; and a learnt system so that the government can re-use information it already has on a sponsor where possible and required.

The UK governments new trade deals may open up opportunities for UK workers to move abroad more easily and the chance for overseas workers to move to the UK. For example, the deal with New Zealand is likely to allow professionals from New Zealand to move to the UK for work more easily and the deal with Australia will increase eligible age for the working holiday visas to 35. Similarly, the

Youth Mobility Visa has been extended to allow 3,000 Indian nationals and 1,000 Icelandic nationals from 1 January 2022 and this may expand to further countries.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recently reviewed the Intra-Company Transfer route and made several recommendations such as the introduction of: a 2-year ‘team subsidiary visa’ to allow for 5 applicants in one team to enter the UK to establish an overseas business in the UK; a 12-month secondment visas to a UK company with an overseas company that has operated for at least 12 months and is worth over £50 million; and a short-term assignment visa to cover specialist technical work that takes a few days or week to cover. It will be interesting to see if these recommendations are adopted into the new Global Mobility visa being launched in Spring 2022.

Lastly, the MAC has begun a review of the Shortage Occupation List that will be reported on in April 2022 and it is hoped that they will pay close attention to some of the struggling sectors such as adult social care where few care home workers and nurses meet the salary or skill-level threshold at present.

All in all, there’s a lot on the horizon for UK immigration in 2022.

Understand More About UK Immigration Routes Bates Wells is a London-based full service firm with a global outlook. Championing the market as London’s first B-Corp law firm, Bates Wells practices a value-driven approach to client relations and aligns themselves to notable causes. In their specialty area of Immigration Law, Bates Wells handles matters of: Personal Immigration, Business Immigration and High Net Worth Immigration.

Connect with Chetal and schedule a consultation to discuss UK Immigration Pathways.

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