The government has issued a new Statement of Changes (HC 1496) to the Immigration Rules, which makes some important changes. In particular, the Statement of Changes:

  • confirms that, from September 2023, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) will automatically have their leave extended by two years before it expires if they have not obtained settled status (and then, from 2024, the government will start to grant settled status automatically to those with pre-settled status after five years’ continuous and lawful residence in the UK, without their needing to make an application to the EUSS, if it can determine from its records that the settled status requirements are met)
  • adds certain jobs in the construction and fishing industries to the Shortage Occupation List
  • removes the right for international students to bring dependants unless they are on postgraduate courses currently designated as research programmes
  • removes the ability for international students to switch out of the student route into work routes before their studies have been completed.

In addition, the government has announced forthcoming major increases in immigration fees and charges. These include increasing:

  • the Immigration Health Surcharge main rate from £624 to £1,035 per person per year (with an increase in the discounted rate from £470 to £776 per child or student per year)
  • fees for work and visit visa applications by 15%
  • fees for Certificates of Sponsorship, settlement, wider entry clearance, citizenship and leave to remain by at least 20%.

No date has been set yet for the introduction of these increases, but it could be as soon as autumn 2023.

Source: New feed