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Statement of changes HC 1780: restrictions on administrative review and expansion of Youth Mobility Scheme


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A new statement of changes has been published along with the explanatory memorandum and a written statement from the immigration minister. The biggest change is the removal of administrative review from decisions made under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Many of the changes are minor technical or drafting changes. It is 66 pages because changes have been made to tuberculosis testing and applications involving children. These are rules that apply to many different routes and so amendments need to be made to all of the relevant rules.

Below we summarise the main changes. The vast majority of changes take effect on 5 October 2023, with some changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme only taking effect from 31 January 2024.

The only change effective from 28 September 2023 is a minor amendment to a previous statement of changes HC1496.1. This states that applications must have been made before 3pm on 17 July 2023 which was the date and time the rule change took effect, in order to be considered under the rules in force on 16 July 2023.

Definition of ‘independent life’

The definition at paragraph 6.2 of the immigration rules has been made less restrictive, with the removal of requirements that a person not be in full-time employment, wholly or mainly dependent on their parent for financial support (unless 18 or over) and wholly or mainly dependent on their parent for emotional support.

Public funds

There have been several additions to the list of public funds at paragraph 6.2 that cannot be accessed by a person with the ‘no recourse to public funds’ restriction on their grant of leave.

Administrative review

Changes are being made to Appendix AR and Appendix AR(EU) to remove the right of administrative review for all decisions where it currently applies for the EU Settlement Scheme, the EUSS family permit and the S2 Healthcare Visitor visa. No changes have been made to the ability to appeal EU Settlement Scheme decisions, in line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreement.

Appendix EU

Appendix EU is also being amended in line with the existing policy position that where limited leave has already been granted under Appendix EU to a dependent parent or child, then dependency does not need to be evidenced again in further applications.

It has been clarified that the required date specified at sub paras (a)(viii) and (ix) of Annex 1 in Appendix EU does not apply to those applying as a person with a Zambrano right to reside or a family member of a qualifying British citizen.

Youth mobility scheme

For Australia and Canada the upper age limit is being extended from 30 to 35 years old and the period of leave granted increased from two to three years. Andorra is being added to the list of countries participating in the scheme.

Long residence

The definition of ‘lawful residence’ was changed in April 2023 to exclude time spent on immigration bail, as a visitor, short-term student or seasonal worker. Paragraph 276A(b) of the rules is being amended to clarify that this includes time spent on previous versions of these routes or temporary admission or release.

Appendix Children

This is a new appendix to the immigration rules and we will cover it in depth in a separate post. It has requirements that apply to children applying both in their own rights as well as dependants of a main applicant. It will apply only to certain routes from 5 October 2023 and will be rolled out further in future.

Appendix Electronic Travel Authorisation

The change to this appendix is the removal of NHS debt as a reason to refuse an application for an Electronic Travel Authorisation. The reason for this is that systems are not in place for checks on this to be done in a timely manner. The explanatory memorandum does warn at 7.16 that entry could still be refused at the border for this reason.

People lawfully resident in Ireland are exempt from this requirement, but those aged 16 or over will need to demonstrate residency if required to do so by a UK official. Guidance has been published on how this to do this.  

Grounds for refusal

The ten year re-entry ban at paragraph 9.8.7(e) of part 9 of the immigration rules for those deported from the UK at public expense has been removed. The ban remains in place for those removed at public expense. This is to bring the rules in line with part 13 which was changed earlier this year to remove the minimum period for maintenance of a deportation order.

Appendix Returning Resident

This is a new appendix being added as part of the simplification process, replacing paragraphs 18, 18A, 19, 19A and 20 of the immigration rules.

Appendix English Language

Six new routes have been added to the list which can meet the English language requirement through having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification at level 4 or 5 or Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English. The new routes are Appendix Representative of an Overseas Business, Appendix T2 Minister of Religion, Appendix UK Ancestry, Appendix Global Talent, Appendix Domestic Workers in a Private Household and Appendix Hong Kong British National (Overseas).

Appendix Tuberculosis

Provisions elsewhere in the rules around tuberculosis testing, including Appendix T, are being replaced with this new appendix. This is another part of the simplification of the rules exercise.

Gurkhas and Hong Kong military units

A 2009 concession allowing settlement for pre-1997 Gurkhas and their families will be added to the rules. It will also be extended to former members of Hong Kong military units discharged before 1 July 1997. Appendix AR is being amended from 5 October 2023 to allow for administrative reviews of refusals of these applications.

Skilled workers

Prison officers are being made eligible for this route and will be added to Appendix Skilled Occupations.

Other changes

Minor drafting changes to Appendix International Sportsperson, Appendix Government Authorised Exchange. Technical changes are being made to validity sections for Appendix Student, Appendix Child Student and Appendix Graduate. Appendix Finance is being amended to clarify that short term students (English language) can rely on funds in the account of their parent or legal guardian. Appendix Global Talent will have some minor changes made at the request of the endorsing bodies. The seasonal worker route has been amended to clarify the minimum 32 hours pay per week requirement for those working in horticulture and seasonal poultry workers.

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Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan is an experienced immigration, asylum and public law solicitor. She has been practising for over ten years and was previously legal director at the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association and legal and policy director at Rainbow Migration. Sonia is the Editor of Free Movement.