New immigration rules were announced on the 7 March 2019. Almost 300 pages of changes were introduced. Some of these changes, new Immigration rules will come into effect on the 30 March 2019 (the Brexit date). Others are expected to be introduced later in April and July 2019.
New Immigration Rules
The main changes apart from what will happen after Brexit are those for working visas. A new Appendix W has been added. Appendix W is replacing some of the existing categories.
The Entrepreneur Category – This category will no longer be available from 29 March 2019. Those of you who are already on this route may remain and apply for extensions and/or settlement, but no new applications can be made.
Instead, a new Immigration category called the Innovator Visa will be introduced. The Innovator Visa requires £50,000 investment rather than the original £200,000 under the Entrepreneur Visa. However, the Innovator Visa will require the business proposal/investment to be endorsed. Three main requirements are set out:
Innovation: the applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
Viability: The applicant has the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.
Scalability: There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.
The other new category is the Start-Up Visa. Again, this is replacing the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Rules, which will remain available until 6 July 2019. The Start-Up visa is an initial stepping stone into the Innovator Rules.
The key requirement is having a business that is endorsed and viable. The Existing Investor Visa will also have tighter requirements in terms of investment and financial and commercial regulations.
Other Changes being brought in surround the new provisions for EU Nationals and their families following Brexit.