UK Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules

On December 7, 2023, the UK government published a statement of changes to the immigration rules.  The changes will come into effect on various dates between December 7, 2023, and January 31, 2024.

In a written statement to the House of Commons, the Home Secretary summarised the changes as follows:

Changes to Visitor Rules

As set out in the Spring Budget 2023, we are amending the list of permitted business activities that can be undertaken by individuals on a UK Visit visa, including by: (a) removing the restriction on visitors working directly with clients in an intra-corporate context (subject to the activity being incidental to their employment abroad and to the delivery of a wider project by the UK branch of their overseas employer), (b) naming remote work as a permitted activity, providing this is not the primary purpose of the visit, (c) expanding the list of unpaid work activities that legal professionals can undertake in the UK, allowing scientists to conduct research in the UK as part of their visit, and (d) allowing pilots and cabin crew members to travel to the UK as part of a Civil Aviation Authority approved wet leasing agreement.

We are also reforming Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE), by including speaking at conferences in the list of permitted engagements. By incorporating the provisions of the route into the Standard visitor route, to enable easier switching between PPE activities and the other permitted business activities, and to enable easier travel across the UK border for nationalities eligible to use e-passport gates.

Introduction of new Appendix Statelessness

A partner or child will no longer be eligible to apply for permission as a dependent under the stateless route but will instead need to meet the requirements to come to, or stay in, the UK as a partner or child of a stateless person under the family rules in Appendix FM. A person who already has permission as a partner or child of a stateless person under the current Stateless Immigration Rules in Part 14 will be able to continue to extend their permission or stay in the UK under those provisions.


Changes to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

We are making two particular changes where the EUSS is concerned.

First, to reinforce the Government’s approach to tackling illegal migration, we will prevent a valid application to the EUSS as a joining family member being made by an irregular arrival to the UK (which will include small boat arrivals) as well as by an illegal entrant.

Second, consistent with the temporary protection of rights conferred on them by the Citizens’ Rights Agreements for three months from their arrival in the UK, we will require a person in the UK as a visitor to make any application to the EUSS as a joining family member within three months of their arrival (subject to reasonable grounds for any delay in applying).


Changes to travel document requirements for school groups visiting the UK from France

We are making changes to allow children aged 18 and under, studying at a school in France, to visit the UK on an organised educational trip without the usual passport or visit visa requirements. EU, other EEA and Swiss national children will be able to travel on their national identity card. Visa national children will still be required to travel on their passport but will not have to obtain a visit visa.


Changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme

We are adding Uruguay to the list of countries and territories participating in the YMS and making changes to reflect that the UK’s existing reciprocal, bilateral arrangements with Japan and the Republic of Korea have been enhanced.”


Erickson Insights

Erickson Immigration Group will continue monitoring developments and sharing updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.