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Changes to UK Immigration rules for sole representatives, EU nationals and business visas

PUBLISHED: 22 May 2020
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If you expect to find out about what is going to happen to those whose visas expire very soon and how long and if they can stay in the country, you will be disappointed. The Home Office managed to introduce some changes that are totally unrelated to the COVID-19 lockdown. However, read on – who knows which changes will affect you or your family.

EU Settlement Scheme

The United Kingdom consists of four countries and normally UK Immigration Rules would apply to all of them. However, the Home Office has made a concession to family members of North Irish people. Starting from 24 August 2020, they can come and stay in the UK under the Settlement Scheme which is much easier and cheaper.

Another change affects victims of domestic abuse. If you are in the UK as a family member of an EEA national (spouse, children, parents, etc.) and you have been abused by them, you can retain your right of residence. Until 04 June 2020 it has only applied to spouses.

Sole Representatives

Representative of an Overseas Business visa is relatively easy and cheap which is why it has been used quite extensively, especially after Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa was abolished more than a year ago. The Home Office believes that it has some loopholes that people use to abuse this route.

Genuine Entrepreneur

Sole reps will now be assessed for their genuineness. You will need to show that you are coming to the UK to develop a business and not to achieve personal immigration goals. Besides, you must have “relevant skills, experience and knowledge of the business”. Business plan will come very handy here, so we highly recommend having one.

Majority shareholding

At the moment, the rules are simple, a sole rep cannot be a majority shareholder in the parent company. This is going to change to exclude any form of ownership or control on the part of an applicant. Moreover, if you have a majority stake, you can no longer come as a dependant of your partner.

Start-up and Innovator visas

The Home Office can double-check whether endorsing bodies for Start-up visa and Innovator visa have done its work properly and in compliance with the Rules. Basically, the approved bodies are no longer trusted, and they might be asked to provide more evidence and information as to why they have endorsed such and such a body.

Innovators can now be endorsed by higher education institutions.

“Viable” is being replaced with a more comprehensible “realistic and achievable based on the applicant’s available resources”.

Start-up and innovators can change a business venture without applying for a new endorsement as long as it meets the endorsement criteria.

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