Tier 1 of the points-based system has been stripped of a number of sub-categories in recent years and tough restrictions continue to be imposed on the remaining sub-categories, especially the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category. The most recent changes in the Immigration Rules introduced predominantly technical amendments to the guidance and clarified provisions that previously caused confusion for applicants. The following minor technical changes have been made to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category to clarify various evidential requirements and correct minor drafting errors:

  • an amendment to clarify that applicants supplying third-party evidence do not have to meet the requirement for their bank statements to cover a consecutive 90-day period;
  • an amendment to clarify that applicants who are also accountants cannot sign off their own accounts or funding evidence;
  • a provision to allow applicants with funding from an endorsed seed funding competition to provide a letter from an authorised official of the fund as confirmation that money is being made available for investment (rather than a letter from an accountant as at present). This brings the provision for funding from endorsed seed funding competitions into line with the provisions for funding from UK and devolved government departments; and
  • a clarification that a company's register of members must come from Companies House. In response to queries from external stakeholders, minor clarifications are being made to existing Immigration Rules around job creation and evidence to demonstrate Pay As You Earn reporting to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs .

In respect of the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category, the following amendments have been made:

  • a minor amendment to specify that the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) limit of 1,000 places includes applicants who successfully apply under the equivalent Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route in the Isle of Man. The amendment clarifies that evidence originating from the Isle of Man will be acceptable for the purposes of obtaining an endorsement from a designated competent body under these rules;
  • an updated list of acceptable awards within the film, television, animation, post-production and visual effects industry, for endorsement under the Arts Council England criteria.

For further information on this topic please contact Kamilla Kelemen at Magrath LLP by telephone (+44 20 7495 3003) or email ([email protected]). The Magrath LLP website can be accessed at www.magrath.co.uk.