Immigration Updates – 19th of January

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    Proposal to change the rules regarding permanent residence permit and family reunification of spouses

    The Ministry of Immigration and Integration has drafted a proposal to change the rules regarding permanent residence permits and family reunification of spouses. The proposal was sent to the relevant authorities and organisations for comments on 18 January 2024.

    The proposal contains a tightening of the requirements to obtain a permanent residence permit and family reunification of spouses. The draft tightens the requirement that applicants may not have been convicted of certain crimes. The same applies to the transferred requirements for permanent residence permit, which applicants must meet, when applying for family reunification of spouses if the spouse in Denmark is a foreign national but not a refugee.

    In accordance with the drafted proposal, the new rules will apply to applications for permanent residence permit and for family reunification of spouses submitted from the time the proposal is presented to the Danish parliament, unless a decision is made in such cases before the time of entry into force.


    Arrangements for Immigrant Investor Programme applications on hand

    Following the closure of the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) on 14 February 2023 it was agreed that arrangements in relation to the orderly winding down of the Programme would be put in place. These arrangements have now been finalised.

    The proposed arrangements cover a number of different categories of applications, as set out below:

    1. Approved projects
      1. Approved projects which have requested additional funding based on increased construction costs
      2. Approved projects which have requested additional funding who have introduced additional elements to the project outside of their approved Business Plan
      3. Approved projects which have stalled.
    2. IIP Approved Investment Funds
    3. Project Applications on hand pre-closure of the programme
    4. Post-Closure project applications
      1. Projects submitted without an associated investor, including those where an attempt was made to transfer an existing investor application to serve as an investor for a new project
      2. Projects submitted outside the timeframe allowed post closure of the Programme (including those projects where there was no previous substantive engagement with the IIP Unit)
      3. Projects that do not appear to be within the scope of the IIP programme
      4. Projects which require planning permission
      5. Valid project applications which are in scope of the IIP and planning is not an issue.

    Under these arrangements, categories 1.b, 3, 4.a, 4.b and 4.c will be prioritised for processing either because of the length of time the applications are on hand or because a decision can be issued quickly.

    Following this, categories 1.a and 1.c will be examined and decisions made on these applications. The remaining categories of applications will be examined thereafter.

    Given the volume of applications on hand, it is expected to take a number of years to process the remaining categories of applications to final decision.

    The closing of the programme did not affect already approved applicants and projects under the IIP. However these projects will continue to be monitored for delivery and compliance with IIP requirements, and approved applicants will still need to meet certain requirements for renewal of their immigration permission.

    United Kingdom

    Immigration Health Charge increase passes parliament

    The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2023 was approved by both houses of Parliament on 15 January and published on 16 January 2024. It will take effect 21 days after it is made, which means on 6 February 2024. Applicants subject to the charge should aim to submit their application as soon as possible to have a change of avoiding the increases.

    As previously announced, the annual cost of the Health Charge will increase from £470 to £776 for students, dependents of students, applicants for entry clearance as a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme Applicant) and persons under 18 years of age. For all other applications made in respect of a person aged 18 or over at the date of the application, the Health Charge will increase from £624 to £1035.

    The order also clarifies that applicants who are applying for the Stateless immigration route are exempt from the requirement to pay the Health Charge. This will put applicants in a similar position to migrants who are granted refugee status.

    The order also formalises existing exemptions under the Ukraine Schemes. The Ukraine Schemes were launched in March 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine to support migrants displaced by the war in Ukraine to either enter or remain in the UK.

    In its own explanatory memorandum, the government admits that these substantial increases will likely have a significant impact on businesses, charities and volunteer bodies. “The indirect cost to businesses is estimated in the order of tens of millions of pounds per year”.

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