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Recent Changes to the Immigration Rules including fees update

12 April 2019

Samuel Njogu


We wish to notify you of some changes to the Immigration Rules that were released by the Home Office in March 2019. The changes that have been brought forward in their announcement are to close the current Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa under the Point Based System from 30th March 2019. The Home Office have now introduced two new visa categories to replace them. The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route will be replaced by the new ‘Start-up category’ while the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route will be replaced by the new ‘Innovator category’. The start-up visa route will be open to those starting a business for the first time in the UK, while the Innovator visa route will be for more experienced business people who have funds to invest in their business. The new categories above will be set out in a new Appendix W to the Immigration Rules.


Perhaps the most striking aspect of the change is that the new categories do not form part of the Point Based System and do not include points scoring tables. Applicants will now be required to see endorsing bodies and business experts rather than the Home Office for assessment of their business ideas prior to the approval of their visa applications.


The Home Office will also bring forward their proposed reforms to the Tier 1 (Investor) Route which will now require applicants to prove that they have control of the required minimum investment of £2 million for at least 2 years, rather than 90 days or provide evidence of the source of the funds. The above change will also be effective as of the 30th March 2019.


The other key changes that will be effective as of the 30th March 2019 are:


  • An increased fee for oversees (out of country) optional Priority Visa - Non Settlement and General Services from £212 to £220.

  • Increased fees for Priority in-country services for the Super Priority service from £610 to £800 and the Priority Service from £477 to £500.


The Home Office have proposed not making any other changes to fees under the sponsorship system (which have been held at the same level since April 2015), and all other fees under the other immigration categories will be held at the current rate except for short term and long term visit visa categories which will be increased at the following rates:


  • The 6 month Short Term visit visa will be increased from £93 to £95

  • The 2 year Long Term visit visa from £350 to £361

  • The 5 year Long Term visit visa from £636 to £655

  • The 10 year Long Term visit visa from £798 to £822


The Home Office also made a further announcement on 14th March 2019 that from June 2019, eligible passengers from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA will be able to use the ePassport gates at UK airports and Brussels and Paris Eurostar Terminals. They also announced that, to coincide with the ePassport gates expansion, they will also begin to abolish landing cards for non-EEA travellers.


If you have any queries or require any assistance with any immigration matter, please contact us using the details below.

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Samuel Njogu