UK Government Issues September 2021 Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules

September 23, 2021

The UK government published a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules on 10 September 2021, which will open, expand, and streamline work and study routes under the points-based immigration system. This update includes changes relating to the evidence of identity and nationality requirements for persons arriving in the United Kingdom, the launch of the International Sportsperson route, and changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme.

Evidence of Identity and Nationality Requirements

From 1 October 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens—collectively referred to as “EEA citizens”—will only be able to enter the United Kingdom using their passport to demonstrate nationality and identity. National identity cards will no longer be accepted as valid travel documents.

This does not apply to EEA citizens with pending applications or visas under the EU Settlement Scheme who can continue to use their EEA national identity cards to enter the United Kingdom until at least the end of 2025. This also does not apply to British citizens of Gibraltar, who may continue to use their national identity cards indefinitely to enter the United Kingdom.

International Sportsperson Route

From 10 October 2021, the new International Sportsperson route will replace T2 Sportsperson and the T5 Creative or Sporting Worker. The new route will continue to offer a dedicated option for anyone wishing to come to the United Kingdom for 12 months or less, and bringing together T2 and T5 into one category will make it simpler and more straightforward for professional sportspeople and their sponsors to access.

As with the previous routes, applicants will need an endorsement from a Sports Governing Body and will require a Certificate of Sponsorship from their sponsor. In line with other immigration routes, the International Sportsperson route will be points based, and applicants will need to satisfy the English language requirement if they wish to stay for longer than 12 months.

Additionally, the Tier 5 Temporary Worker routes are being rebranded with the launch of new application forms and all references to the old T5 system are being removed. The separation of the old T5 Creative and Sporting Worker route will deliver a new Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa, which recognizes the unique requirements of the sector.

Youth Mobility Scheme

From 1 January 2022, the T5 (Temporary Worker) Youth Mobility Scheme will be rebranded and named the Youth Mobility Scheme. Iceland is being added to the Youth Mobility Scheme country list as a country without deemed sponsorship status with an allocation of 1,000 places. India is being added to the list of countries where invitation to apply arrangements applies with an allocation of 3,000 places. The scheme is being updated to allow citizens and nationals or the rightful holder of a passport issued by a territory without deemed sponsorship status to apply for this route from any post that accepts such applications worldwide.


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

Jennifer Connolly
Yvette Allen

Washington, DC
Shannon A. Donnelly