Changes to the Immigration Rules as of 6 April 2021

A number of amendments have come into effect, including to the skilled worker, global talent and innovator visas, the EU Settlement and Youth Mobility schemes, and the Hong Kong BN(O).

As set out in the Statement of Changes published on 4 March 2021, a number of amendments to the Immigration Rules came into effect on 6 April 2021 which we have outlined below. Our summary on the full list of changes and when they come into effect can be found here. The Home Office also published updated visa application fees on 6 April, which can be found here.

Skilled Worker visa:

The Shortage Occupation List has been expanded to include pharmacists, health professionals not elsewhere classified, physiotherapists, nursing auxiliaries and assistants, health services and public health managers and directors, residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors, laboratory technicians, and senior care workers. Fishing and other elementary agriculture occupations not elsewhere classified have also been added to the list of Skilled Occupations eligible for the Skilled Worker visa.

Additionally, the Skilled Worker guidance has been updated to include a £10.10 hourly rate for Skilled Workers to the minimum salary threshold. There is also clarification in the guidance on when a reduction in a sponsored migrant’s salary does not need a new visa application.

Global Talent Visa:

Minor changes to the Global Talent visa have come into effect. Firstly, applicants who have been offered a qualifying position at an eligible institution are able to apply for the fast track, either as an individual or with responsibility across a wider team. Secondly, those who qualify as “exceptionally promising applicants” under the digital technology criteria can provide evidence for just two optional criteria, rather than “at least” two.

EU Settlement Scheme:

To reflect the end of the transitional period for Brexit, the EU Settlement Scheme has also been amended. The Home Office can now refuse applications where the applicant has demonstrated poor conduct (for example, having a criminal conviction).

Applicants who are the dependant parent of an EU or Swiss citizen will not have to submit evidence of their financial dependency, as opposed to this being assumed. However, this will only apply to applicants who had not entered the UK prior to the end of the transition period and who apply after 30 June 2021.

Youth Mobility Scheme:

For applicants applying from countries or territories without Deemed Sponsorship Status, the requirement for a Certificate of Sponsorship has been replaced with a requirement to produce evidence of sponsorship within six months.

Innovator Visa:

In order to qualify under this route, an applicant must now be the “sole founder” or an “instrumental member of the founding team” of the business for which they have been endorsed.

Hong Kong BN(O):

Migrants in this category can request to have access to public funds, if they can show that they are or are at imminent risk of becoming destitute.


This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of April 7, 2021.