This report covers a Statement of Changes concerning immigration rules issued by the U.K. government.
On 11 December 2018, the U.K. government published a number of changes to the Immigration Rules1. The “Statement of Changes” introduces: (i) small changes to the Tier 2, Tier 4, and Tier 5 categories, (ii) an expansion of the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category, and (iii) a pilot introduction of a new “seasonal workers” scheme. Most of the changes are expected to take effect from 1 August 2019; however the main impact on Tier 5 will be coming into force as soon as 1 January 2019.
Introduction of a scheme for seasonal workers is a direct response to expected shortages of low-skilled labour as a result of Brexit. The other changes are minor adjustments to existing policy except for the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category being expanded to those in the field of architecture.
This Statement of Changes was preceded by uncertainty relating to the Tier 1 (Investor) category which was reported to have been suspended by the government on 6 December 2018.2
However by the time of the actual changes, the Home Office had said that his policy was not in fact being implemented.3
Instead, the concurrent changes to the rules provide clarity on technical issues; they also give people insight into the seasonal workers scheme, which would be the first time we have seen this open to non-EU nationals since 2008 (when the previous scheme became restricted to nationals of Romania and Bulgaria after they joined the EU). The pilot should provide the U.K. government with essential data and information that could be used if the government decides to roll this out widely.
While there is nothing major in the other changes, considered individually, together the clarifications and rationalizations should improve predictability of the system.
1 For the full statement of changes, click here.
2 See “Investor visa scheme halted in money laundering crackdown,“ published in the BBC online (6 December 2018) at this link. Please note this link will take you to a non-governmental, non-KPMG, 3rd party website. Provision of this link does not represent an endorsement of this site by KPMG.
3 This information, according to “Home Office confirms chaotic U-turn on suspension of Tier 1 (Investor) visas,” on the Free Movement.org website at this link. Please note this link will take you to a non-governmental, non-KPMG, 3rd party website. Provision of this link does not represent an endorsement of this site by KPMG.
The KPMG Legal Services – Immigration Team has a wealth of experience in transactional, advisory, and compliance assurance services. We will be able to advise your business in relation to practical considerations in light of the above changes, as well as what this means for your long-term recruitment and compliance strategies.
* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the United Kingdom.
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