UK: Reminder of Application Submission Changes from 30 November 2021

November 15, 2021

In September this year the Home Office issued a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules which will see a change to how applicants (and their dependants) for Student and Skilled Worker visas make their applications. The change will apply from 30 November 2021.

The change alters the validity requirements of these two visa categories, by removing the separate application method for EEA nationals with a chipped passport. EEA nationals who hold chipped passports are able to apply using an application on their smart phone, thus bypassing the need to attend a biometrics appointment in person, or surrender their passport. In return, they receive their granted status digitally rather than being issued a physical visa or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). From 30 November, this option should be open to all nationalities in similar circumstances.

It is believed that this change will allow an in-country applicant in possession of a BRP to make use of the digital application form to confirm their identity, rather than attend a separate biometrics appointment. Applicants who use the form with inbuilt identity verification will also receive a digital status.

Sponsors should be aware that under the current digital process for EU nationals, priority service has not been available. Therefore, sponsors and applicants will need to consider if the new digital process will be suitable for their needs when considering decision processing times.

The above changes are expected to take effect for applications made from 30 November 2021 and is in-line with the continued roll-out of new digital processes introduced by the UK Home Office.

If the above changes impact your business, your staff or yourself directly, please do not hesitate to reach out to Newland Chase for further guidance on questions you may have.