Summary of upcoming changes to the Immigration Rules

On 7 March 2019, the Home Office published a new Statement of Changes, setting out new requirements, which will be incorporated into the consolidated version of the Immigration Rules over the period from 29 March 2019 until 1 August 2019.


Changes as of 29 March 2019


  • Minor changes have been introduced to the definitions of “Employment as a Doctor in Training” and a “Professional sportsperson”

  • Definitions of “Start-up migrant” and “Innovator” have been included in the “Introduction” part of the Rules

  • Immigration requirements for leave to enter and remain or indefinite leave to remain in the UK for family members of Appendix W “Workers” will be added to Part 8 of the Rules

  • Definition of “Prospective Entrepreneur” in Appendix V of the Immigration Rules will be changed. A visitor, who can show support from one or more endorsing bodies for the Start-Up or Innovator visa, would be able to enter the UK to secure funding from any legitimate source

  • Appendix W will be inserted into the consolidated version of the Immigration Rules setting out the Immigration Requirements for the Start-up and Innovator visa categories. The changes to this Appendix will take place on 1 August 2019


Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa category


  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa category will be closed to new applicants as of 29 March 2019. Those, who have a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, or have had leave under this visa category in the 12 months immediately before the date of application, may still apply for extension and/or settlement in the UK under this visa route

  • Applicants will be allowed to extend their visa under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Scheme if last been granted leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) or a Start-up migrant (having previously held leave as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant)

  • Those applicants, who have entry clearance, leave to enter or remain as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) or a Start-up migrant, or have had such leave in the 12 months immediately before the date of application, would be required to show that they have at least £50,000 available to them or their business or have invested the funds in their business due to their activity

  • Money made available from venture capital firms would no longer be accepted for the purpose of initial applications made under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa route


Tier 1 Investor visa category


  • Changes are being made to Tier 1 (Investor) visa category to clarify that if the applicant has or has had leave as a Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant in the 12 months’ period immediately before the date of application, an entry clearance visa would be granted for a period of 2 years. In all other cases, an entry clearance visa application would be granted for a 3 years’ period

  • Tier 1 (Investor) applicants, who were granted a visa under this route before 6 November 2014, would be able to rely on existing investments when submitting their extension applications before 6 April 2020 and when submitting their indefinite leave to remain applications before 6 April 2022

  • Tier 1 (Investor) applicants, who submit their visa applications under this route after 29 March 2019 or the date of extension application is on or after 6 April 2023 or the date of settlement application is on or after 6 April 2025, would not be awarded points for investments in UK Government Bonds

  • The banks would be required to carry out required due diligence checks and Know Your Customer enquiries in relation to each Tier 1 (Investor) applicant

  • Under the Tier 1 (Investor) visa route, the 90 consecutive days’ requirement for money to be held under the applicant’s control is being extended to a 2 years’ period

  • Under the Tier 1 (Investor) visa route qualifying investments can include pooled investments vehicles, if such vehicles receive funding from a UK or devoted government department or one of its agencies, and the applicant provides a letter from a financial institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to confirm this

  • Tier 1 (Investor) applicants, who submit their initial applications after 29 March 2019, and invest in active and trading UK registered companies, must ensure that such active and trading UK companies are registered with the Companies House, HMRC for corporation tax and PAYE, have accounts and a UK business bank account and have at least two UK-based employees who are not its directors

  • Clarification is being made to confirm that “price of the investments” means the price the Tier 1 (Investor) applicant paid for the investments, not the face value


Changes as of 30 March 2019


  • An entry clearance visa application granted under Appendix EU (Family Permit) may be revoked if an applicant is subject to an exclusion order, an exclusion decision or an Islands exclusion decision as defined in that Appendix

  • In line with the changes to paragraph 34QA, under Appendix AR (EU) an application for an Administrative Review may be made from either inside or outside the UK

  • General grounds for refusal set out in Part 9 of the Immigration Rules will not apply to applications made under Appendix EU or Appendix EU (Family Permit), except, if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union with a “no-deal” scenario, then, some of the paragraphs of Part 9 of the Rules would apply to migrants, who commit an offence after 29 March 2019

  • Changes are being made to Appendix A “Attributes” to clarify how points for an allocation of a restricted COS certificate will be calculated

  • The Immigration Requirements set out in paragraph EU2 of Appendix EU will come into force on 30 March 2019

  • Appendix EU (Family Permit) will be inserted into the consolidated version of the Immigration Rules on 30 March 2019 (with two exceptions)

  • Appropriate salary rates set out in Appendix J in the codes of practice of the Immigration Rules have been revised. New salary rates will come into force on 30 March 2019


Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa category


  • Switching from a “Start-up” migrant and an “Innovator” visa category to Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa category will be allowed

  • The relevant continuous period under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent or Promise) visa category could be combined with leave spent either as a Tier 1 Migrant (excluding as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant or Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) Migrant), as a Tier 2 Migrant (excluding as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant) or as an Innovator


Tier 2 visa categories


  • Applicants will be allowed to switch from a Start-up and an Innovator visa category to Tier 2 (General)

  • Migrants will be allowed to switch to the Tier 2 (General) visa category within the UK upon completion of their degree program or no more than 3 months before the expected completion date

  • Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) migrants will be allowed to include leave spent in the UK as an Innovator towards the required qualifying period for indefinite leave to remain

  • The minimum threshold for a gross annual salary, when applying for settlement under the Tier 2 (General) visa route, will be set at £38,800, if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2023, and at £40,100 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2024


Changes as of 6 April 2019


  • Time spent under the Tier 4 visa category whilst being below the age of 18, will not count towards the time limits;

  • Transitional arrangements in respect of job creation for those Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicants, who entered this route before 6 April 2014, will be deleted.


Changes as of 6 July 2019


  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa category will be closed and being replaced by a Start-up visa category


Should you have any questions regarding the upcoming changes please do not hesitate to contact us.


Please note that the information on this page is for general purposes only and is not intended to replace legal advice.

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