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All Change Please! An Update On The Latest Changes To The Immigration Rules

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Adam Pipe
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In this recent webinar for DG Legal, barrister Adam Pipe takes a comprehensive look at the significant changes to the Immigration Rules seen in 2024, including increases to the skilled worker salary threshold and the minimum income requirement for family visas.

Auto-generated using YouTube's transcript and OpenAI (accuracy cannot be guaranteed)

Okay, so we'll get things started. It's great to see so many of you here today. Good afternoon and welcome to today's webinar, which is titled "All Change Please: An Update on the Latest Changes to the Immigration Rules from Spouses to Skilled Workers."

Today's webinar is being delivered by Adam Pipe, a barrister from Number Eight Chambers. For those of you who haven't joined our webinars before, my name is Aaron, and I'm an assistant consultant at DG Legal. The slides from today's presentation will be sent over to you tomorrow, and a recording of the webinar will be available for 3 months. So, if we do run over today and you need to leave, you'll be able to watch the rest at another time.

We are in webinar mode, so that means we can't see or hear any of you. So if you do have anything to say, we probably won't get around to questions today. If you do want to put anything, please use the Q&A function rather than the chat box so the speaker can communicate with you and potentially answer any questions. But today's webinar is going to be full-on, very comprehensive, so we probably won't have time for those today.

Adam, as I said, is an experienced barrister. He's experienced in all aspects of immigration and asylum law. He's particularly interested in refugee law. He's appeared at all levels of the asylum and immigration tribunal and in the administrative court and court of appeal. Adam is ranked by Chambers and Partners for immigration law in the Midlands. And with that said, I would like to hand over to Adam himself.

Thanks, Aaron. Well, it's fantastic to have everyone online today. I think about 800 people signed up for the webinar, and hundreds of you have logged on live today. So we're going to try in this one hour to do a sort of high-level overview of the recent changes to the immigration rules. And there have been some massive changes from the end of last year through to the first quarter of 2024.

Do scan this QR code. So get your phones out now. I don't normally encourage people to get their phones out during webinars, but get your phone out, scan this QR code. That will give you access to all of my free resources, my free videos, training sessions. And I appreciate we probably won't get time for Q&A today, so I've got two in-depth, live in-person events coming up at the beginning of May, one in Birmingham, one in London. I think we're going to Manchester in the autumn. But if you got burning questions and want to go through these issues in more detail and also cover some changes to case law, do sign up to those in-person sessions where we can go over this stuff in more detail.

But I should say at this stage, thank you to DG Legal. These webinars are such a resource to the legal community. Thank you to Aaron and Robin for being online and supporting today. Just to give you a heads up, my next DG Legal webinar is on the 16th of July of this year. I've not yet come up with a topic or title, so when DG asks for your feedback, feel free to will crowdsource what the next webinar should be. So give them your requests.

Let's start off with the Minister's statement earlier this year, which set out a timetable for the changes. So the changes for this year, the timetable will set out like this: on the 19th of February, immigration rules were laid which removed the right for care workers and senior care workers to bring dependents. This was also the statement of changes that meant that care providers had to be regulated by the Care Quality Commission, and these came into force on the 11th of March. That's the first statement of changes for this year, and we'll have a look at those.

Then we had the Big Spring statement of changes, the one on 14th March. These immigration rules were laid, and those changes were the ones that increased the earning thresholds for skilled workers from 26,200 to 38,700, with Health and Care visas being exempt and also those on National payscale occupations. And we'll have a look at that as part of this.

In January, the government commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee to carry out a rapid review of the shortage occupation list to inform which occupation should be temporarily added to the new immigration salary list, which comes in force from April. And the new immigration rules remove the 20% going rate discount for occupations on the shortage occupation list.

The Spring statement of changes also introduced the change to the minimum income requirement for family visas. Obviously, when it was initially announced, it was announced as going up to 38,700 in line with the skilled worker route. But then the government said they would introduce it incrementally, and the first change that's just come into force a few days ago on the 11th of April was to raise the threshold to 29,000. We're expecting two further rises of 34,500 and finally 38,700 in early 2025, but we would have had a general election probably by that time, so who knows whether those further changes will be brought into force.

Thanks to House Persille, if there's anybody from House Persille on the webinar today. They created this excellent visual image of a timeline of the changes that have taken place from the 6th of February and the increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge. I know a lot of you would have been working frantically at that time trying to get your applications for your clients in before the 6th of February, the increases to the Civil penalties in terms of right to rent and working. Then we see the changes that I've just gone through. And finally, we're going to see in late 2024 a full review by the Migration Advisory Committee in terms of the immigration salary list. We're also going to see the full roll out of the electronic travel authorization for non-va Nationals.

Now, I was searching this morning because I thought I saw a question in Parliament from, I think, Tom PGV saying that it's not going to be rolled out till early 2025 in respect of EU Nationals, so it may be delayed, but that's what is coming. So, clients with BRPs need to start to create UKVI digital accounts. So if you've got clients who have got BRPs, which is probably most of you on the webinar today, do advertise to your client base that they need to create these digital UKV accounts.

Similarly, this timeline I've set out, which was on the Richmond Chambers website, which helpfully sets out the various changes, and you can have a look at those. I've already mentioned the rapid review of the immigration salary list to recommend which occupation should be on the interim immigration salary list. So what the Migration Advisory Committee have recommended is that 21 occupations be included on the ISL, and that represents 8% of the job roles eligible for the skilled worker route. So if you compare that with the old shortage occupation list, there were previously 30% of eligible job roles on the shortage occupation list, so we can see a decrease in the roles on the interim immigration salary list.

Before we look at the two big statements of changes this year, and at the end of the webinar today, we're going to have a look and focus on the changes to the long residence rules, so do hold on if you're particularly interested in the changes to the long residence rule. I wanted to look at the statement of changes HC 246, which was laid before Parliament on the 7th of December 20123 because these brought in changes, a lot of them in early 2024, and it concerned the EU settlement scheme travel documents for school groups visiting from France, again updates to the Youth Mobility scheme.

If you were on my last webinar, which was a review of last year, if you haven't watched that, do watch the recording because I go through all the statements of changes from last year, and you could see the Youth Mobility scheme. Every time there was a new bilateral agreement with a country, that country benefited from expanded provisions under the Youth Mobility scheme. This statement of changes brought in three new appendices to the immigration rules: Appendix Bereavement Partner, Appendix Statelessness, and Appendix Victims of Domestic Abuse, and we're going to have a look at that appendix specifically at the start of this webinar today because that introduces for the first time an out-of-country settlement route for victims of what's known as transnational marriage abandonment, which is a form of domestic abuse.

So here is the minister's or the Secretary of State's, in fact, statement in respect of the statement of changes from the 7th of December 2020. There were changes to the visitor rules, including changes to the permitted business activities and Notice B. Remote work is now a permitted activity, provided it is not the primary purpose of the visit. Also, note there were reforms to the permitted paid engagements. As I said earlier, there was a new appendix Statelessness.

In terms of that note, that partners and children will no longer be eligible to apply as dependents under the stateless route, but they'll have to separately apply under Appendix FM. In terms of our good old favorite EU settlement scheme, there were changes to Appendix EU in terms of joining family members, preventing applications by those who irregularly arrived in the United Kingdom, but those who arrive as visitors will now have three months to apply as a joining family member.

I'm not going to talk to us today about travel Document requirements for school groups visiting from France, bonjour to them, and let's go. Then there's Appendix Victim of Domestic Abuse. We'll have a look at that in a bit more detail. Then here are the changes to the Youth Mobility scheme. Uruguay is now added, and because of the bilateral agreements with Japan and Korea, they get the enhanced provisions.

What I've also done is put in an extract from the explanatory memorandum in terms of Appendix Bereavement Partner. That sort of sweeps up all the bereavement partner provisions into one appendix. So if you're dealing with a bereavement partner, that's where you now look, and hopefully this will trigger you, if you're an immigration advisor or solicitor, to think, "Ah, now I need to update my representations in these types of cases to address the new rules."

So, what I want to do in this is update you but also help you with marketing to clients. So, you know, we've already talked about marketing to clients about setting up a digital UKVI account. In terms of updating, you think about where you'll need to update your standard representations. For applications under these new provisions, that's the Appendix Statelessness.

And one thing before we leave is the change to the partner definition. So, from the 31st of January 2024, the partner definition has changed. So, if you look in the introduction to the immigration rules before the 31st of January, it said spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner where the couple have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage or a civil partnership for at least two years. From the 31st of January, note the change to see it's an unmarried partner where the couple have been in a relationship.

So, no longer is there a living together for two years requirement. It's a relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years. The definition of partners, therefore, also being changed in Appendix FM. So, the immigration rules are all being brought in line. Now, this is bringing it in line with Appendix Relationship with a Partner, and you'll see the previous definition had that requirement of living together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least two years.

Now, it's a much more simplified definition. For the purposes of this appendix, partner includes applicant fiancé or proposed civil partner unless a different meaning of partner applies elsewhere in this appendix. So, for Appendix FM applications now, you no longer have to show that you've been living together in a relationship for two years, but you have to have been in a relationship for two years.

We've just, from the 4th of April, had new guidance or the guidance Relationship with the Partner has been updated. I've put the link on this slide. You'll get a copy in links to my slide and recording sent to you tomorrow. The Home Office, in their guidance, even though this is about meeting the partner definition, refer to it as a durable relationship. So, this is what they're talking about, that they use the language of a durable relationship.

Where the applicant and their partner are not married or in a civil partnership, they must demonstrate they've been in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for at least two years before the date of application. For a relationship to be similar to marriage or civil partnership, the couple must usually have lived together as a couple, not just as friends, and shown an ongoing commitment to one another. However, in some circumstances, there may be evidence of a durable relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership where the couple have not or currently do not live together.

So, the expectation is they would normally live together, but in some circumstances, they may not be living together. So, you can see the emphasis in the Home Office guidance. What I've done, I've highlighted in the middle of the guidance on this slide what they say about where you're not living together. A relationship can still be recognized as meeting the requirement for a durable relationship where, for example, there is a good reason the partners are living apart, which is still consistent with them having a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership.

So, this is what you want to address if you're doing representations for an application where a couple have been in a relationship for two years but they're not living together, for example. And these are only examples. They may currently live apart because one party is studying in another country, or they have to live apart for work reasons or while applying for immigration permission in another country. In such circumstances, a durable relationship can still meet the requirement, but you will need to be satisfied the relationship is durable and genuine and subsisting even though they are living apart. For example, there may be evidence that although they're currently living apart, they've lived together in a durable relationship in the past and intend to do so again in the future.

There's also guidance there about in countries where you can't potentially live together as partners or in a same-sex relationship. So, do have a look at that and address this guidance. But the takeaway point are there's no longer the requirement to be living together for two years, but in terms of the guidance, the expectation is you usually be living together. So if you're not living together, you're going to have to make sure you address that specifically in your representations.

Now, as I said, I wanted to spend some specific time looking at the new Appendix Victim of Domestic Abuse. Before I do that, I wanted to set out the new domestic violence concession. So, the name of the domestic violence concession used to be the D DVC, the Destitute Domestic Violence Concession. It's now been changed to the Migrant Victims of Domestic Abuse Concession, and there's been a couple of changes. So, you'll see the guidance was updated on the 29th of February and again on the 4th of April.

Firstly, the concession has been extended, and it now provides for victims of domestic abuse as the partner of a person on a work or student route. So, it's been widened to include those. And from the 4th of April, it also provides for spouses, civil partners, or durable partners under Appendix EU with pre-settled status, including those who have leave on the basis of retained rights.

So, what does the concession do? Well, the concession provides a short period of independent immigration status. It's leave outside of the rules and financial support to certain partners who are victims of domestic abuse, allowing them to leave an abusive relationship to a position of safety and support during this three-month period. So, it's three months leave outside the rules of permission to stay. The victim must do one of the following to address their immigration status: apply for permission to stay in a relevant immigration route, apply for settlement on Form Set DV where they are eligible to do so and Appendix Victim of Domestic Abuse, or make arrangements to leave the UK.

The next two paragraphs on my slide talk about the expansion of the policy. But look at the last paragraph: the policy does not provide for all victims of domestic abuse, and not everyone granted permission under this concession will be eligible to apply for settlement under Appendix VDEA. So, even though it's been expanded to partners of those on a work or student route, those people will get the three months, but they won't be able to apply for settlement under Appendix Victim of Domestic Abuse on the Set DV. They'll have to apply under a different immigration route. But remember, they'll have to switch from being somebody with having leave outside the rules, so that will restrict what they can switch into.

For those of you who are applying on behalf of clients on the Migrant Victims of Domestic Abuse Concession, here is the application process. In order for you to make those applications, those who meet the criteria for the policy must be granted leave outside the rules for three months. There's a permitting employment, and there is no prohibition on recourse to public funds. The letter that's going to be sent to them will confirm whether they're eligible to apply for settlement under Appendix VDA or they're not eligible. It will also explain to them the need to apply for further leave before their leave runs out and about applying for public funds.

And remember that a granted permission under the policy is a recognition that an applicant declared themselves a victim of domestic abuse who required immigration status independent from their partner. That doesn't guarantee they'll subsequently be granted under the immigration rules. So, let's quickly look then at the immigration rules in Appendix Victim of Domestic Abuse.

So, this route allows settlement where a person has or was last granted permission as a partner on a specified route and their relationship has permanently broken down due to domestic abuse. And from now, we can also now apply for those who've been abandoned overseas. So, they must be in the UK unless they've been abandoned overseas. Dependent children can apply under this route. I just put some extracts from the rules. So, if you're outside the UK and you want to apply on the victim of domestic abuse route, you apply for entry clearance using the specified form.

Return to the UK if you're making an in-country application. The forms are set out at 1.2. Now, look, the general grounds of refusal in part 9.2.1 apply to domestic violence cases. So, be aware of that and address the general grounds of refusal if you need to, particularly with a breakdown due to domestic abuse. There may be an allegation and counter-allegation, somebody may have a criminal record or something, so make sure you address part nine.

If somebody's outside the UK, they must apply and obtain entry clearance on this route before they arrive in the UK. So, you can't just try and come back and then apply. In terms of what leave you must have, you must have leave as a partner under specific routes, and they're set out in VDA 4.1A to F. Notice AA, that was the change that was recently brought in that allowed those with pre-settled status to apply under the domestic abuse route. 4.2: the relationship between the applicant and their partner must have broken down permanently as a result of domestic abuse. Notice there's no timescale there, there's nothing referring to during the probationary period, for example. If you're applying from outside the UK, they must have been abandoned outside the UK.

I've talked a bit today about transnational marriage abandonment. Look at the guidance to show the definition of what they're looking for in respect of that. If a dependent child is applying, 8.1: there must be adequate maintenance and accommodation, so it's an adequacy test. But 8.2: you've got to be show the funds in accordance with FMSE. This is an all-or-nothing route. There's no provision for limited leave. So, look at 9.1: if the decision maker is satisfied that all the suitability and eligibility requirements rent to settlement on the domestic victim of domestic abuse route are met, the application will be granted. Otherwise, the application will be refused. It's all or nothing. If you're refused, no right of appeal. It's administrative review.

9.2: and if you're out of the UK, you'll be granted entry clearance for settlement. If you're in the UK, you will be granted settlement. So, those are the new provisions in Appendix Victim of Domestic Abuse.

Let's pause there. What we're going to do now is shift to look at the statement of changes for this year, and the first one is HC 556 from the 19th of February. This did a couple of things. Firstly, it made some changes to the Ukraine scheme. So, the Ukraine family scheme is closing, and changes were made to the Ukraine Homes for Ukraine scheme. Notice also that part N, the general grounds of refusal, are being amended. Some were not previously admitted in respect of Appendix Ukraine scheme; they're now applying to Appendix Ukraine scheme. So, where in the past you perhaps haven't had to address part nine, make sure you address it.

There are amendments to the Ukraine extension scheme to allow children born in the UK to those who hold permission under the Ukraine scheme to be eligible to apply for permission under the scheme beyond its closure on the 16th of May 2024. So, it's already been announced the Ukraine extension scheme was closing on the 16th of May. The Ukraine family scheme is now closed to new applications with immediate effect. And in terms of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the leave that's going to be granted is now changed from 36 months to 18 months.

The second big change brought about by the February statement of changes, so HC 556, was the change in relation to the care workers, that's occupation code 6145, and the senior case care workers at 6146. They say these changes were brought in because of a high level of non-compliance and worker exploitation and abuse, as well as unsustainable levels of demand. So, now they've narrowed the eligibility for workers to be sponsored because the sponsor must now be registered by the Care Quality Commission and is currently carrying out a regulated activity. So, if you represent sponsors, you're going to need to make sure they're now registered and regulated by the Care Quality Commission. This doesn't affect Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

This is the provision that also removed the provision for dependents to accompany or join workers sponsored in these occupation codes. And it specifically applies, I had a question about this yesterday, to these occupation codes. But notice, and I think that question came in about this before the webinar, transitional arrangements are being applied for skilled workers who've applied on the route and are being sponsored in these occupations before these changes come into force. These arrangements allow them to apply to extend their permission with the same sponsor and settle without the CQC regulation requirement applying to them. They also allow such individuals to be accompanied or joined by dependents, including in cases where they change jobs to another sponsor who meets the CQC regulation requirement.

Now, it's half one, we're halfway through, and we've got to the big one, we've got to HC 59, the big Spring changes from 14th March 2024. Now, I'm going to go through these changes. I'm going to give you some guidance in terms of the changes to the family income requirement, and we're going to particularly look at the long residence rules. In terms of the skilled worker changes, I'm going to summarize the changes. I know from things I've seen online from representatives that are particular issues that are coming up from the guidance. It's beyond the scope of this webinar to cover specific queries in relation to the guidance in relation to skilled workers. Let's look at Tom Persglove's statement first in terms of the changes to the skilled worker route.

So, the sponsoring employers must pay skilled workers the general salary threshold or the going rate, whichever is higher. So, the general salary threshold is being raised from £26,200, which was the 25th percentile, to £38,700, which is the median UK earnings. The going rates are also going up to the median, and the new thresholds and going rates are based on the latest pay data. Workers sponsored for Health and Care visas or where going rates are set using National pay scales are exempt from the new median salary requirements, and their general thresholds are going to be based on the 25th percentile, but that's being updated. So, it goes up from £26,200 to £29,000 based on the latest pay data.

There's also a reference there in the statement to what we've talked about already, which is the replacement of the shortage occupation list with the new immigration salary list. Even though the 20% going rate discount is being removed, there still is, in respect of those, a 20% discount to the general salary threshold. Also, this big statement of changes brings in the changes to the minimum income requirement in the partner route. So, as we've talked about, the initial increase to £29,000.

Now, a question I keep getting asked: there will no longer be an additional income requirement for children, so there's no longer the increment depending on the number of children. We'll go through that in a moment. There are also changes for the minimum income requirement in terms of armed forces, but look at the final paragraph I've highlighted. Other aspects of the MiMR under both routes will remain unchanged, such as the various ways in which it can be met and the consideration of exceptional circumstances where it may not be met in certain cases. The rules also make transitional provisions for those already granted under the family or Armed Forces rules.

Now, we'll come to the transitional provisions, but I wanted to say, clearly, there will be people now who will not be able to meet the new higher income requirement. So, you're going to have to think more about, "Well, what about savings?" And we'll come through to the savings amount in a minute. But don't forget gen 3.2 and 3.3. Can we rely on third-party support? You know, we've not, even though we've had the provision for third-party support after MM Lebanon in a lot of cases, we've not really had to rely on third-party support. But we may have to start relying on third-party support again. Well, we need to argue exceptional circumstances, best interests of children, in terms of in-country applications where we need to argue the ten-year route as well. So, consider these other aspects that you may now need to argue and you may need to set out in your representations in cases where they're not going to meet the new income requirement.

The Spring Statement of Changes also brought out changes to the inard to EU settlement, and that was the inclusion of those with pre-settled in the Appendix Victim of Domestic Abuse, which we've already gone through. Bit of sad news because of the change from the shortage occupation list to the immigration salary list. Eligible asylum seekers who are currently granted permission to work can only work in roles on the shortage occupation list. But now, for those granted from the 4th of April, they're only going to be able to work in roles on the immigration salary list. And, as you know, I've talked about it earlier, that is a more restricted number of roles than was previously on the shortage occupation list. Another change that was brought about, if you listened to my previous webinar, we looked at the removal of administrative review in EU settlement refusals from the 5th of October last year. What this statement of changes also does is now stop you having out-of-time applications for administrative reviews for decisions that were taken before the 5th of October 2023.

Let's look at the skilled worker changes in a bit more detail. So, they take effect from the 4th of April, but in relation to those changes, if an application for entry clearance or permission to stay has been made using a certificate of sponsorship issued by a sponsor to an applicant before the 4th of April, such applications will be decided in accordance with the immigration rules in force on the 3rd of April. So, this helpful in italics at the bottom from Latitude Law: existing salaries will continue to apply to certificates of sponsorship assigned to workers before the 4th of April. Note that the related visa or permission to stay application does not have to be made before the 4th of April to benefit from the current rates. A COS must be used within three months of assignment, so that gives a latest date for applying using the old rates of 3rd of June 2024. I think that date probably has to be moved because after this article was published, there was obviously the SMS, the sponsor management system, was out for a number of days. From what was it? Just looking at my other screen, 2nd of April at 9:00 a.m. until the 4th of April, so... oh, sorry, 7:00 p.m. on the 2nd of April till 9:00 a.m. on the 4th of April, the SMS was off. So, that date is probably brought forward, but you've got those three months for a COS assigned before the 4th of April.

Here's a really helpful summary from Lewis Silkin of the skilled worker: increase to the general salary thresholds for the various tradable point options and the addition of tradable points options to cover individuals under a transitional arrangement, and we'll look at those in a moment. Increases in the going salary rates from the 25th percentile to the median, the 50th percentile. Exceptions for National pay scale and Health and Care. Look at the fourth bullet point. Updates to the occupation coding. So, we're now aligned with SOC 2020 rather than SOC 2010. But then there has... there's an additional table being added to Appendix Skill Occupations to enable those in deleted occupation codes to continue to be able to extend or settle. Replacement of the shortage occupation list. We've talked a lot about that. Look at this positive news: significant expansion of supplementary employment permission. We'll come to that in a moment. And the introduction of a Health and Care Visa criteria into the immigration rules that are currently contained in a separate policy document. Here are some extracts from the explanatory memorandum.

I'm conscious of time, so we will skip through those because some of it we've already covered. There's the salary increase based on the new thresholds and going rates, based on the new ONS pay data. 5.3 deals with Health and Care visas and those on the national pay scales, and then the shortage occupation list replaced by the new immigration salary list. The discount is still there, the general salary threshold, the going rate being removed. In 5.6, this is important: all other existing skilled worker salary discounts relating to Holders of relevant PhD qualifications, new entrants to the labor market, and National pay scale occupations are being retained and updated based on the latest ONS pay data.

There are some other salary requirement changes in terms of global mobility, in terms of senior and/or specialist care workers or graduate trainees, the scale-up route, and certain poultry workers. Don't forget the chicken workers; they're all set out there in 5.8. In terms of the updates to the standard occupation classification moving from 2010 to 2020, that's set out there in the explanatory memorandum. You can have a look at that. So, I did say there were positive changes in supplementary work for skilled workers, and again, I've put some articles thanks to Lewis Silkin and Lisa Courtney for these posted.

Skilled workers are allowed to undertake limited supplementary employment provided they remain working for their sponsor in their sponsored role. The employment must be outside their contracted working hours and for no more than 20 hours a week. Currently, the employment must either be in the same occupation and at the same professional level as the sponsored role or in an occupation on the shortage occupation list. An amendment is made to allow supplementary employment for skilled workers to be in any occupation that is eligible for the skilled worker route. So, it's a significant liberalization, but employers should take care and have a look at these articles which are helpful in relation to that.

A relaxation in terms of supplemental work for skilled workers. There are transitional arrangements for those with existing permission on the route or those who make an initial application with a COS assigned before the 4th of April. They stay on the 25th percentile, but obviously, the figures have been updated now to 29,000. And we've got some new tradable points tables for those on the transitional route, and the transitional arrangements remain in place to the 3rd of April 2030, providing that an individual seeking to rely on them continues to maintain continuous status under the skilled worker route. Again, thanks to Lewis Silkin, they've put this table up but also added the changes in red, so that's really helpful. You'll get these in the slides tomorrow.

So, you'll see, look on the left, the new salary threshold gives the basic 38,700, then you've got the tradable in b, c, d, and e, and then you've got the transitional f is the basic one, then you've got the tradable ones, and the final one k is for health or education. Let's move then to the changes to the income requirement in terms of family visas. So, that's going up to 29,000 from April the 11th. But note 5.19, there will no longer be a separate child element to the minimum income requirement. This is to ensure that British Nationals are not treated less favorably than migrants who are required to meet the general skilled worker threshold. It's a flat rate, so they're bringing FM in line with the skilled worker threshold. There are transitional arrangements for those who before the 11th of April already have a family visa or applied before the 11th of April and are granted once a minimum income requirement has been met. The same minimum income requirement must be met through to settlement on the route, provided the applicant is applying to stay with the same partner. So, they must stay with the same partner. This will also be the case for children seeking to join or accompany a parent. These arrangements provide certainty for those already within the route or who are applying before the increase comes into force. And notice 5.21, it's something we've already talked about. Existing exceptional circumstances need to promote the welfare of children continue to apply, and then there's reference to the Exceptions there in terms of insurmountable obstacles or not be reasonable for qualifying Char to leave the UK and article 8. So remember, you might need to argue now more these exceptions and compelling circumstances.

Here's the new provision I've set out the provisions on the partner route. Look at appendix FM specifically if that you're dealing with children. But the new provision is a specified growth po annual income of at least 29,000. And I've already lots of times been asked the savings question so the math is still the same, thank goodness I did that math say level after all. 16,000 plus 2.5 times the shortfall. All right, so let's do some math with Adam. 16,000 plus 2.5 times the shortfall. Let's imagine your client earns nothing, so the shortfall is 29,000. The whole amount, it's the math say 16,000 plus 2.5 * 29,000 or 2 and a half * 29,000 is 72,500. So, if you earn nothing, you're relying completely on savings, the new number is 88,500.

Now, in the guidance, we'll see the Home Office do it in slightly a different way. Same figures, but they show a different formula, and I'll show that to you in a minute. Here's the transitional provision. So, a person who has had permission as a partner on the five-year route to settlement or is a fiancé or proposed civil partner at the date of application must meet the transitional financial requirement if they made an application for entry or permission to stay as a fiancé proposed civil partner or partner in appendix FM before 11th of April which was successful. So, if you've already got it or if you've made an application for the 11th in April and it's successful, you're on the transitionals, but it must be with the same partner. And here's the financial requirement. Well, it's the old financial requirement 18,600 plus the additional child element. The specified savings is the same formula, but it's the old numbers so it's the short four from 18,600 but note ELTP 3.8 the additional child element is capped it's capped at 29,000 so if you're on the transitional Provisions even though it's the old Financial requirement the number of children could take you above the new level of 29,000 so they've capped it.

Let's look then at the guidance. Here's the guidance in terms of the Appendix FM Financial requirement. Again, I've highlighted here the no requirement for an additional child element. Don't forget, if you get certain benefits, you won't have to meet the financial requirement, but you meet the adequacy of maintenance test, so just don't forget that. I've listed out those benefits from the guidance to assist you. Here's the summary then: those who apply on or after the 11th of April who are on the new five-year partner route must meet 29,000. Those who apply on or after the 11th of April who are already within the five-year partner route must meet the lower financial threshold of 18,000 plus, plus 18,600 plus the child component capped at a maximum of 29,000.

Those who apply before the 11th of April must meet the previous threshold of 18,600 plus the child component where relevant; there is no cap in place. I think what this means is those who you've been madly putting their applications in before the 11th of April, they were under the old rules, so there was no cap with the children. Obviously, when they come to apply for an extension, they will then benefit from the cap, but those applications you've been rushing in before the 11th of April weren't capped. A child applying under Appendix FM must meet the same threshold as the parent they're applying to accompany or join, regardless of the date of the child's application.

So they put this helpful table again. You might want to go in the guidance, save the tables, post them on your firm's website or social media as a good way of your client understanding what they need to meet. I've put the summary for the armed forces in case you deal with any armed forces case. I'm not going to dwell upon those. And then I've set out now the financial requirement, the guidance in terms of the transitional requirement, which is capped at 29,000. So table two shows the transitional with the additional children. So once you get to four children, you reach the cap, and these are the children to which it applies to.

Obviously, a child applying under Appendix FM must meet the same financial requirement as their parent they're applying to accompany or join, regardless of the date of the child application. In terms of applications submitted before the 11th of April, this is the one where there is no cap, but if the only reason you would fail is you've got more children and you can't reach the higher number, but you can reach 29,000, there is guidance that it should be referred to the family policy team. So it seems that some, even though there's no cap on those applications, there's some flexibility and discretion with the Home Office if that would be the only reason you would be refused.

And I've highlighted that there. And you can see from four children and above, you're above 29,000, and these are the children it applies to. The Home Office does this weird thing in terms of savings. They do a calculation based on the amount of your savings you can use towards the financial requirement. So they do X minus 16. So X, X is your savings minus 16,000 divided by 2.5 gives you Y, which is the amount of money you can use towards the financial requirement. Bit of a weird and complicated way of doing it, but I've set out the table. It's table four in relation to where you're meeting 18,600, table five in relation to the higher 29,000 salary threshold.

Last 10 minutes, then let's blast through the long residence rules. I've done a specific video all about this, but a new appendix, Long Residence, as you know, long residence rules were criticized by the courts left, right, and center. So they finally changed the rules. Do be aware of these new rules. Appendix Continuous Residence now applies, appendix English Language, and appendix Call UK applies. In terms of long residence, there's a policy change that you must have your current permission for one year or be exempt from immigration control for the 12 months immediately prior to the application to qualify. But there is a transitional provision in relation to that. If you're not granted long-term settlement, you can be granted limited leave to remain, which is for 24 months. Comes into forth on the 11th of April for applications before that, it's under the old rules.

Notice that changes that are made to appendix Continuous Resonance. This is an extract from the explanatory memorandum for the Spring Treatment Statement of Changes in relation to the changes to appendix Continuous Residence. And I'll come back to this. Look at appendix Continuous Residence when you're making your client's 10 years long residence application. Here's the introduction to appendix Long Residence. It's for those who've lived in the UK lawfully and continuously for 10 years or more. No provision for dependence. A person may apply for immediate settlement if they meet all of the requirements for settlement or may apply for temporary permission if they meet the suitability and qualifying period but don't have the English language or knowledge of the life in the UK.

In 7.1, the rules I put this in square brackets shows you'll be given 24 months. There's the form 9.1. It's the form applied to settle in the UK long residence. You apply online. You've got to, in order to have a valid requirement, pay your fee, do your biometrics, provide your identity nationality documentation. You must be in the UK at the date of application. Part nine, the general grounds apply. You can't be in breach of immigration law when you apply unless paragraph 39 applies, and you can't be on immigration bail. Even though you can apply during 39e applying, that doesn't count towards your 10 years.

You must have 10 years lawfully in the UK made up of permission to stay in the UK except you can't rely, and this came in last year, so you know about this already. Can't rely on time as a visitor, short-term student, or seasonal worker, or the predecessors. Or you must have been exempt from immigration control or this is now a change which this was previously in the policy. It's now in the rules. If you had a right to reside under the EA regulations, you can rely on that to make up your 10 years. What doesn't count towards the qualifying period? While time spent on immigration bail, temporary admission or temporary release periods of overstaying that are disregarded.

So in the cases of Hawk and Afile, talked a lot about disregarded overstaying, well, those don't count. We know from Afile, they're a shield, not a sword. They don't positively count. And any current period of overstaying with 39e applies doesn't count towards your 10 years. As I said, there was a policy change. You've got to have leave on your current immigration route for at least 12 months before the date of application or be exempt for the 12 months before, but that only applies if your permission was granted before the 11th of April 2024.

So it only applies for those now for your current permission granted after 11th of April 2024. You must meet appendix Continuous Residence. And do look at the Continuous Residence requirements that are contained within appendix Continuous Residence. You must meet the English language requirement as appendix English Language B1 and appendix Call UK for your knowledge of life in the UK. If you meet the rules, you'll be granted settlement. If you don't, you can be considered for leave to remain either under the long residence route or under a family or a private life route.

The Secretary of State will contact somebody if they're considering them in terms of variation. They won't have to pay an additional fee, but they won't get their settlement fee refunded, but they'll have to pay the immigration health search charge. If they don't pay that or don't have a waiver, their application will be rejected. And then either you'll be granted permission to stay on the long residence route or in appendix FM or on the private life route. So as I said, please, please, please when you're making applications for clients, look at appendix Continuous Residence.

I spoke to a representative or emailed me in the last couple of days, and I think got to be very careful now counting back and making sure we've got this 10 years and what can be counted and what can't be counted, so do look at that. There's the link to the online form, and now the guidance has been updated in terms of the long residence rules. So the applicant must have spent a continuous qualifying period of 10 years in the UK during one or a combination of the following applied, and there's the leave you have to have exemption or under the EA regulations. Time spent on immigration temporary admission or temporary release do not count towards the qualifying period. No periods of overstaying disregarded or otherwise are included in the calculation of the continuous residence for the qualifying period. Note paragraph CR 6.1 of appendix continuous residence sets out the continuous residence periods will be calculated by counting back from the relevant date. This means an application cannot rely on a historic 10-year qualifying period outside the limits defined in CR 6.1, so look at CR 6.1.

Any periods of time with permission any of the following routes are not counted in the qualifying period for the purposes of long residence and will break continuity of residents: time as a visitor, time as a short-term student, time as a seasonal worker breaks continuity of residents. Obviously, you can rely on periods under 3C, you can rely on time with the right to reside under as under the EA regulations, and they must count. The guidance says time is a British citizen. I was asked this week about somebody I think would renounce their British citizenship, um, you can rely on periods, it seems to be the guidance as it the rules don't say that but time spent as a British citizen.

The Continuous residence requirements are set out in appendix continuous residence. The following periods will break continuous residence: what breaks continuous residence, immigration temporary admission and temporary release, permission as a visitor, short-term student, or seasonal worker, overstaying which is not disregarded, but overstaying which is disregarded or time spent in the common travel area will not break continuous residence so you can't positively count them. So you can't positively count time in the common travel area or disregard it overstaying but it doesn't break continuity of residents. There are transitional provisions, and note the change in relation to the 548 day absences.

So a 10-year period before the 11th of April must not have total absences of more than 548 days. For a 10-year periods which extend beyond the 11th of April 2024, there is no 548 day limit. It's one minute to go final slide, some changes coming up in June changes to the definition of a parent, a reference to stepparents, uh, being removed and the adoption rules are being replaced by appendix adoption reducing the immigration eligibility requirements for hay convention unrecognized overseas adoption routes.

It's 2 o'clock on the dot, I'll put up my final slide so you can get um my link for my other resources or scan that QR code, thank you so much to the hundreds of you who joined me today, I'm sorry we've gone at 100 miles an hour and haven't been able to cover questions, do give your feedback and suggest some other topics, but I'll hand back to Aaron, thanks everyone.