With only a few months to go until the UK general election, the government have increasingly been taking a hard-line approach towards Immigration.
Yesterday, the Home Secretary published the latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, laying emphasis on the government’s “tough” stance on immigration.
The lengthy 243 page document is longer than usual and here are just a few of the changes that will take effect within the next few months:
- Caseworkers will be able to ask migrants present in the UK with limited leave to remain, to provide documentation and/or attend an interview in order to show that they are still complying with the Immigration Rules;
- Minimum salary thresholds for Tier 2 migrants will be updated annually. There are already increases to the minimum required salaries under Tier 2;
- The Tier 2 Codes of Practice that outline those jobs that meet the minimum standards for sponsorship, are being updated from April 2015;
- In Tier 2 of the Points Based System, the Shortage Occupation list will be revised;
- Potential Tier 1 (Investor) migrants will be required to open a regulated, UK investment account prior to making an initial application;
- It will be obligatory for Tier 1 (Entrepreneurs) to pass a “genuine entrepreneur” test for extension and ILR applications;
- Tier 1 (General) migrants will be restricted from switching into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category;
- The Home Office will update the list of approved English Language tests;
- Changes will be made in relation to family and private life;
- Visitor routes will be reduced from 15 down to 4 categories.
Minister of State, James Brokenshire argues that “The Immigration Act continues to prove itself as a radical new tool to tackle immigration abuse”.