Statement of Changes to UK Immigration Rules Announced

March 23, 2020

For UK employers, the most relevant changes under the 12 March announcement relate to the EU Settlement Scheme, indefinite leave to remain, youth mobility scheme, and immigration health surcharge increases.

EU Settlement Scheme

This scheme enables European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and their family members arriving in the United Kingdom before 31 December 2020 to obtain the UK immigration status needed to remain in the United Kingdom. The main changes to the scheme include the following:

  • Certain extended family members of EEA nationals are now eligible to apply under the EU settlement scheme. This applies specifically to children under the age of 18 who are the relative of the spouse of an EEA national, under nonadoptive legal guardianship of an EEA national or are the child of the durable partner of an EEA national.
  • Provision for refusal under the scheme where an applicant poses a danger to the security of the United Kingdom, having been convicted of a particularly serious crime.
  • Provision for cancellation of an EU Family Permit where there has been a material change in circumstances since the family permit was granted.

Tier 2 (General) Indefinite Leave to Remain

A freeze on the indefinite leave to remain minimum salary requirement for Tier 2 (General) migrants will be implemented from 6 April 2020. The current minimum salary of £35,800 (or the minimum expected salary for the type of job, if higher) will not increase to £36,200 on 6 April 2020 as anticipated.

Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme)

The annual allocation of Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) places for 2020 have been released. The allocation for Australia has decreased to 30,000, New Zealand has decreased to 13,000, and Canada has decreased to 5,000. In addition, allocations to applicants from Hong Kong will now be selected at random.

Immigration Health Surcharge Fee Increases

The Home Office has announced that the immigration health surcharge (IHS) fee, which entitles overseas migrants to use the National Health Service, will increase from £400 per year to £624 per year. In addition, the discounted rate for students, their dependants, and Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) migrants will increase from £300 to £470 per year. All children under the age of 18 will receive the discounted £470 rate.

The new fees will apply to non-EEA nationals from October 2020 and to EEA nationals from 1 January 2021.


If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Jennifer Connolly
Yvette Allen

Shannon Donnelly