The Home Office has remained busy over summer 2019, releasing changes and updating its visa guidance for the months ahead.

So what do you need to know as we head into autumn 2019?

The return of the Post Study Worker Visa

On 11 September, the Home Office announced that from September 2020 it would reintroduce the Post Study Worker visa which ended in 2012. The "new" Graduate Route visa will again enable Tier 4 students to remain in the UK to work for 2 years following the end of their studies without having first secured Tier 2 sponsorship. This reintroduced route will be welcomed by graduate recruiters and students alike. You can view the press release here.

There will be changes to the Shortage Occupation List

In June, we reported that the Migration Advisory Committee had recommended a significant expansion to the scope of the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List. As predicted, these changes were accepted by the Home Office on 9 September and will be rolled out on 6 October. Read about the changes here.

Appendix D Document retention

On 6 August, the Home Office updated the Sponsor Guidance Appendix D to add a new requirement for all sponsors to retain evidence of a migrant worker's date of first entry into the UK under their visa. This must be retained alongside the other sponsor record documentation for the duration of the migrant's employment and for one year following termination of employment or a Home Office audit (if sooner).

Tier 1 Innovator – a damp squib?

The Tier 1 Innovator visa was introduced on 30 March as a replacement for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. The visa requires a lower financial investment (£50,000 rather than £200,000 in most cases).

However, applicants require endorsement from one of a select number of approved bodies before they can submit their application. A Freedom of Information request disclosed that from April to June, four applications were submitted (compared to 1,900 under Tier 1 Entrepreneur in 2018), and only two of these were approved. It remains to be seen if the route will be changed to make it more accessible.

And don't forget Brexit…

While the Brexit date and whether there will be a deal remains uncertain at the time of writing, there are still positive steps which you can take to support your EU national workforce.