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UK Visa changes from 13 April 2023

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By Sanwar Ali:

Innovator Founder Route Introduced

The Home Office announced the introduction of the Innovator Founder Visa, effective from 13th April 2023, which replaced the Innovator and Start-up UK visa categories. A significant change is that applicants no longer need to have £50,000 of investment funds to meet the eligibility criteria.  However, there is still the requirement that you have an original business idea and that you are endorsed by an endorsing body.  Therefore, only a limited number of businesses will be able to meet the requirements.

Skilled Worker Visa and Scale-Up visa salary increase

The salary threshold for the Skilled Worker visa has increased, with the minimum annual salary for Skilled Worker visas now at £26,200.  The previous rate was £25,600 per annum.   This is based on a 37.5 hour week, when previously it was based on a 39 hour week.   The Scale-up Worker visa minimum salary has increased to £34,600 per annum.  This will make it more expensive for employers with a sponsor licence to hire overseas workers.

Global Mobility Visa and Work Absences

Participating in jury service or attending court are now considered acceptable work absences for the 12-month employment requirement for the Senior and Specialist Worker visa in the Global Business Mobility route.

UK Expansion Worker visa changes for Australians

For Australian owned businesses, those opening a franchise in the UK through the UK Expansion Worker route will no longer need to fulfil the 12-month continuous employment requirement once the free trade agreement has come into force.

Youth Mobility Scheme and New Zealand Nationals

New Zealand nationals applying for the Youth Mobility Visa will from 29 June be able to remain in the UK for three years instead of two, and the age requirement will be changed from 18-30 years to 18-35 years.

Global Talent Visa Endorsing Bodies

The requirements for the majority of endorsing entities for the Global Talent Visa have been updated, including the Arts Council England, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society, the national academies, and the British Academy.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Long Residency

The requirement of continuous lawful residence for indefinite leave to remain ILR has become tougher since 12 April 2023. Time spent on a visitor visa, short term student visa, or temporary admission granted while an application for asylum or humanitarian protection is under consideration, will no longer count as part of the 10-year qualifying lawful residence period, affecting applicants seeking ILR.

The Home Office has made a number of changes to the UK immigration rules, including the introduction of the Innovator Founder Visa and changes to salary thresholds, work absences, and the Youth Mobility Scheme.  Some of the changes make things easier.  Other changes more difficult. can help with Sponsor Licences

If you need help with employing Skilled Workers and help to apply for a Sponsor Licence, including complying with your Sponsor Licence obligations, can help.

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