In recent times, the conditions in which an asylum claim is treated as withdrawn have been widened. At present, a claim will be treated as ‘implicitly withdrawn’ should any of the following events occur.

  • if the applicant leaves the UK without authorisation,
  • fails to complete an asylum questionnaire,
  • or fails to attend an interview (unless this was due to circumstances outside their control).

The new version adds two additional grounds:

  • 1 – failure to maintain contact with the Home Office or to provide up to date contact details, and
  • 2- failure to attend reporting events unless due to circumstances outside the applicant’s control.

  • There was one positive change in the statement of changes which gets rid of the differentiation between Group 1 and Group 2 refugees. This allowed refugees who entered unlawfully, and people granted humanitarian protection, to be given only 30 months’ leave to remain at a time, instead of the standard five years followed by possible indefinite leave to remain. The policy was only introduced last year in order to implement section 12 of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022. The immigration minister Robert Jenrick said that people already granted 30 months’ leave would have their conditions and leave upgraded to match those of Group 1 Refugees. This is a positive change which gives genuine refugees more peace of mind and reduces the amount of work for officials. The differentiation policy means that caseworkers would have to reconsider asylum claims over a ten-year period rather than just twice as had previously been the case.


  1. Two-year extensions will automatically be granted to anyone who has not obtained settled status as of September 2023.
  2. The Home Office also announced that at some point in 2024 those with pre-settled settled status will start to be automatically upgraded to full settled status if automated checks of government records indicate that they qualify:
  3. Validity requirements:
  4. The obligation to demonstrate reasonable grounds for applying after the deadline is moved to the validity requirements in paragraph EU9 of Appendix EU and paragraph FP4 of Appendix EU (Family Permit). This means that where the Secretary of State considers there are no reasonable grounds for the delay, the application will be rejected with no right of appeal or administrative review.
  5. An in-country application made after 9 August 2023 as a ‘joining family member’ can now be rejected as invalid if the applicant has no valid leave as defined in section 33 of the Immigration Act 1971. A ‘joining family member’ is, a family member of an EU national who wasn’t resident in the UK on that basis before the end of the transition period. The change to the validity requirements means it won’t be possible for someone in this position to enter the UK illegally and then apply for leave to remain.
  6. The definition of ‘dependent relative’ under Appendix EU is also revised to provide for the adult child of a durable partner. They will now continue to qualify if previously granted leave in this capacity when under 18.
  7. As of 08th August 2023 the Surinder Singh and Zam`brano routes are closed to new applicants.
  8. Students on courses starting after 1 January 2024 will now only be able to bring dependents if they are government-sponsored or are studying towards a PhD, another doctoral qualification, or a research-based higher degree. Dependents already in the UK with leave to remain are still able to extend their leave.


  1. Students are also affected by the changes to
  • Appendix Skilled Worker,
  • Appendix Global Business Mobility routes,
  • Appendix T2 Minister of Religion,
  • Appendix Representative of an Overseas Business,
  • Appendix UK Ancestry,
  • Appendix Global Talent,
  • Appendix High Potential Individual, Appendix Scale-Up,
  • Appendix Innovator Founder,
  • Appendix International Sportsperson,
  • Appendix Temporary Work – Creative Worker,
  • Appendix Temporary Work – Religious Worker,
  • Appendix Temporary Work – Charity Worker,
  • Appendix Temporary Work – International Agreement, and
  • Appendix Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange.

Current students can now only switch into these routes in the UK if they have completed their course of study or, in the case of a PhD, if they have completed at least 24 months of it. For Skilled Workers, the course need not have been completed if it is degree-level or above at a provider with a track record of compliance and the job will start no earlier than the course completion date.


  1. The Shortage Occupation List for skilled workers is expanded: bricklayers and masons, roofers, roof tilers and slaters, carpenters and joiners, plasterers, and construction and building trades not elsewhere classified.
  2. New genuineness requirements are introduced in Appendix Skilled Worker, Appendix Global Business Mobility routes, and Appendix Scale-up. In each case, an applicant must show that they genuinely intend and are able to undertake the role for which they have been sponsored, and that they don’t intend to take unpermitted additional employment.

The Ukraine Extension Scheme extended until 16th May 2024

You can apply to the Ukraine Extension Scheme if you’re Ukrainian or you have a Ukrainian family member.

You can apply for this scheme if one of the following apply to you:

  • you held permission to be in the UK on or between 18 March 2022 and 16 May 2023 – the permission does not need to cover the whole period.
  • you previously held permission to be in the UK and that permission expired on or after 1 January 2022

If you do not have family in the UK, you can apply for the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme. This will enable people and organisations in the UK (sponsors) to bring Ukrainians and their family members to the UK under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

If you have a sponsor you can:

  • come to the UK for up to 3 years
  • work in the UK
  • access public services and claim benefits



  1. Previous to 1/06/ 2023, if both parents or grandparents were applying together as adult dependent relatives, then only one of them needed to show a need for long term personal care that could not be met in their country of residence. When the route was moved from Appendix FM to Appendix Adult Dependent Relative, this changed. As it currently stands, both parents or grandparents must meet the care requirements in their own right. This potentially requires applicants to choose between having their care needs met in the UK and foregoing those needs to remain with their spouse or partner.
  2. The new statement of changes reverts to the previous position. Now, where one parent or grandparent has care needs that meet the rules, the other will qualify alongside them whatever their own state of health.

For further information on the issues raised, please contact Rosalind Nunoo at


Branch Austin McCormick LLP
32 St James’s Street