United Kingdom: New rules for students switching to skilled worker and immigration health
The Home Office announced on 13 July 2023 that the annual Immigration health surcharge will be increased, but they have not yet released the date by when this will be effective.
Separately, on 17 July 2023, the Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules was released and this includes new rules for students wanting to switch into the Skilled Worker route.
Students wanting to switch into the Skilled Worker route:
In order to switch into the Skilled Worker route, the student must meet one of the conditions below:
The applicant must have completed the course of study for which the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) was assigned; or
(i) The applicant must be studying a full-time course of study at degree level or above with a higher education provider which has a track record of compliance; and (ii) The Certificate of Sponsorship must have a start date no earlier than the course completion date; or
(i) The applicant must be studying a full-time course of study leading to the award of a PhD with a higher education provider which has a track record of compliance; and (ii) The Certificate of Sponsorship must have a start date no earlier than 24 months after the start date of that course
The above has come into effect on 17 July.
In addition, the following changes are being made to the student route:
- Removing the right for international students to bring dependants unless they are on postgraduate courses currently designated as research programmes.
The above changes will come into effect on 1 January 2024.
Immigration health surcharge increase
The annual immigration health surcharge cost is due to increase from GBP 624 to GBP 1,035 for main applicants and their adult dependants. The immigration health surcharge for children and students will increase from GBP 470 to GBP 776.
This is the first increase in the immigration health surcharge for three years. In a House of Commons debate a government minister also announced that UK visa application fees will increase by at least 15%.
The Home Office has not yet announced when these above increases would come into effect.