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New statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules

Oct 27, 2022
Last Updated on May 22, 2024

On 18th October 2022, a new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules was published by the Home Office. The changes are wide-ranging with most changes taking effect from 9th November 2022. Areas covered include Ukrainian Scheme applications, Victims of Human Trafficking, the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy, Seasonal Workers, Hong Kong BN(O) rules and the Global Talent route. 

Here we are looking at just a small selection of the changes, that may be of interest to a wide range of visa applicants and travellers to the UK.

Void Applications

The rules have been updated to confirm circumstances under which an application will be considered “void”. Examples include:

– Applications made by those who are exempt from immigration control (unless the application was made under Appendix EU)

– Applications for temporary permission (i.e. a visa application), where the person already has UK settlement or indefinite leave to remain 

– Leave to Remain Applications made while the person has a pending in-time appeal (unless the application is made under Appendix EU or is a human rights protection claim)

–  Situations where the applicant has died before the application has been decided.

Police Registration

The police registration scheme has now officially been abolished. The scheme had ended on 4 August but now the rules reflect that the scheme is no longer in effect. The scheme previously required nationals from certain listed countries to visit a police station in person for strict checks; the fee for this was £34. This is no longer required since the data collected by the police is captured electronically at the visa application stage by the Home Office. In addition, more individuals are screened before travel to the UK so any concerns, are identified at an earlier stage by the Home Office.

English Language

For many UK visa applications, there is a requirement for applicants to show they have sufficient knowledge of the English language. The latest amendment will now see British Overseas Territories included in the list of majority English language speaking countries, meaning those nationals will not need to provide additional evidence of English language for their visa or Indefinite Leave to Remain application.

Countries Removals from the Visa National List 

Columbia, Guyana and Peru are all being removed from Appendix Visitor: Visa National List. As a result, visitors from these countries will not have to obtain a visit visa before entering the UK as a visitor; instead, they can be examined and granted entry on arrival. The Home Office have cited that nationals of these countries now pose a lower risk to immigration control (less likely to overstay or commit crimes). As well as making visits to the UK easier for these nationals it is also great news from a trade, tourism, and diplomatic relations perspective.

Youth Mobility Scheme

The India Young Professionals Scheme is intended to allow eligible Indian nationals already in employment / or due to start working life, to come to the UK under the Youth Mobility Scheme umbrella. The latest rules confirm that, under this route, Indian nationals must hold a graduate level qualification as well as meeting other distinct requirements on this route, such as obtaining a valid police clearance certificate. They must also be successful in securing an invitation through the Home Office’s balloting system, before becoming eligible to apply for the visa.

Continuous residence 

The statement of changes confirms that under Appendix Settlement Family Life or Appendix Private life, time spent in a UK prison cannot count towards continuous residence, but it does not break continuous residence for the purposes of the settlement application. In addition, for both Appendix Settlement Family Life and Appendix Private Life, individuals who have a criminal conviction which has resulted in a custodial sentence of less than 12 months will not qualify for settlement unless they have completed a qualifying period of at least 10 years (including five years continuous residence since the end of their sentence); both these qualifying periods must have been spent with specified permission on the basis of family and private life.


The changes outlined in the Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules are wide-ranging and provide greater clarity in some areas. That said, there are very few remarkable or ground-breaking changes, which some may have been hoping for at this time of year.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm, with extensive experience. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at Contact US today. We’re here to help!

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