Changes to Immigration Rules


Important Updates

Please note that important immigration rules were implemented on Monday 17 July by the UKVI. Therefore, we urge you to take note of the information below and suggest you get in touch with our team should you have any questions.

Students: Switching is not possible

At 3 pm on Monday 17 July, the government implemented sudden changes to the student route, one of which is effective immediately.

The amendment of the rule removed the ability for International Students in the UK to switch in to work routes before they have completed their studies. The change also saw that Students cannot apply as a dependant of a person on a visa which was granted in a work route before they have completed their course. The work routes are as follows:

  • Skilled Worker
  • Senior or Specialist Worker
  • Graduate Trainee, UK Expansion Worker
  • Service Supplier
  • Secondment Worker
  • T2 Minister of Religion
  • Representative of an Overseas Business
  • Global Talent
  • High Potential Individual
  • Scale-Up
  • Innovator Founder
  • International Sportsperson

This restriction also applies if the student attempts to switch to a dependant of someone granted leave under the Ancestry Route, or any of the Temporary Worker Routes.

It is important that before you make an offer to any student, you contact the Immigration Team at Vira International at UKTeam@vira.co.uk, to discuss the eligibility of the Student and to ensure the matter is processed in the correct manner.

Changes Effective from 7th August 2023

Student Dependants

Dependants of students whose course will commence from 1 January 2024, will no longer be able to accompany them to the UK.

The only exception here is if the student’s course is a PhD, other doctoral qualification, or research-based higher degree. The rule dictates:

“Research-based higher degree” means a postgraduate programme comprising a research component (including a requirement to produce original work) that is larger than any accompanying taught component when measured by student effort.’”

Genuineness Test

Before making an offer to any migrant for a work visa, sponsors have always needed to ensure that the person whom they wish to sponsor:

  • genuinely intends, and be able, to do the role for which they are being sponsored; and
  • they do not intend to undertake employment other than in the role for which they are being sponsored, or as otherwise permitted by their conditions of stay

This means that references and checks must be undertaken before a CoS is assigned to the migrant. The Home Office has confirmed that from 7 August 2023, they will ensure that sponsors are adhering to this requirement.

Vira International has a dedicated ‘Background Verification Team’ which can take care of this for you, please contact us on info@vira.co.uk for further information and pricing.

Shortage Occupation List

Following the Migration Advisory Committee recommendations, the following Skilled Occupation Codes will be added to the Shortage Occupation List:

5119 Agriculture and fishing trades not elsewhere classified – only jobs in the fishing industry

  • 5119 Agriculture and fishing trades not elsewhere classified – only jobs in the fishing industry
  • 5312 Bricklayers and masons – all jobs
  • 5313 Roofers, roof tilers and slaters – all jobs
  • 5315 Carpenters and joiners – all jobs
  • 5319 Construction and building trades not elsewhere classified – all jobs
  • 5321 Plasterers – all jobs

9119 Fishing and other elementary agriculture occupations not elsewhere classified – only deckhands on large fishing vessels (9 metres and above) where the job requires the worker to have at least 3 years’ full-time experience in using their skills. This experience must not have been gained through working illegally.

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