Latest on European Nationals in the U.K. and the new Appendix W

BRITISH CITIZENSHIP APPLICATIONS ON THE RISE AMONGST EUROPEAN NATIONALS

Whilst the amount of European nationals coming to the U.K. has decreased since the Brexit vote, recent figures show that the number of EU citizens who plan to stay in the U.K. by applying for British citizenship, which provides the most secure option in terms of the right to live in the UK, has risen significantly.

British citizenship applications from EU nationals are at record levels, with around one third of all applications for British nationality from EU nationals. The number of EU nationals granted British citizenship increased by 50% last year, from 32,000 in 2017 to 48,000 in 2018.

Applications for residence documents have also increased since June 2016, with around 245,000 residence document applications being processed by the U.K. government in 2018. The EU Settlement Scheme has also been popular, with around 750,000 people having applied so far.

As Brexit looms even closer which will undoubtedly mean a tightening up of the immigration rules, it is even more vital for European citizens and their dependants to regularise their status in the U.K. if they want to avoid detention or removal.

APPENDIX W, START-UP AND INNOVATOR VISAS

Appendix W is a new Appendix to the Immigration Rules, which the Home Office intends to apply to all workers. As drafted, it only currently applies to the Start-up and the Innovator visa. There are several provisions which are common to both types of visa, and which, it is expected, will eventually be common to all visas in Appendix W.

In addition to the more general requirements such as the genuineness test, the requirement not to be in breach of the immigration laws and that the applicant must be at least 18 years old, leave under both categories will be subject to a fully inclusive list of conditions. The prospective migrant must not (a) undertake employment as a doctor or dentist in training or (b) undertake employment as a professional sportsperson, including coaches. Finally, innovators must not undertake employment other than working for the business/es that the applicant has established.

Applicants will be granted leave subject to 3 conditions, namely:

(a) they will have no recourse to public funds

(b) they must register with the police if required by Part 10 of the Immigration Rules; and

(c) they may study, subject to the conditions in Part 15 of the Rules.

A prospective applicant will need at least £945 in maintenance funds, which increases if they have dependent family arriving with them.

English language requirements have been increased to B2 level, up from B1.

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