The Home Secretary hopes that these changes will reduce net migration by 300,000. However, some are concerned that curbing migration at this rate will be extremely detrimental to efforts to tackle skills shortages in the United Kingdom.
Several countries have been slowly moving away from physical forms of confirming the immigration status of foreign nationals (e.g., vignettes or visa stickers in passports and residence permits) and towards the adoption of digital authentication methods. Most commonly, we are seeing eVisas or digital visas introduced for short-term visitor travel; however, some countries are also now adopting them for long-term stays. This article will focus primarily on the changes being made to the UK’s immigration system and also describe briefly some other interesting recent developments.
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The Youth Mobility Scheme visa is a flexible, short-term visa for applicants who want to stay in the United Kingdom for up to two years. Unlike other forms of UK visas, it does not require sponsorship from an employer. The applicant also does not need to have any intention to work or study in the UK, although they are permitted to, subject to a few exceptions.
The Home Office acknowledged employment and housing as the leading factors for people illegally crossing the English Channel. These changes are intended to disincentivize illegal migration, as well as the businesses and landlords that may try to exploit such activities.
The British government recently announced changes to the EU Settlement Scheme, with particular reference to the method of extending leave (the right to reside in the United Kingdom) under this scheme. The change includes a provision that beginning in September 2023, people with Pre-Settled Status under the scheme will automatically have their status extended by two years before it expires if they have not obtained Settled Status.
On 19, July 2023, the UK government released its second Statement of Changes of 2023 that include changes to the Ukraine Scheme Visa, the Visa Nationals List, the EU Settlement Scheme Route, the Student Visa Route, among others.