Halloween Friday legislation update…without the fright

Yesterday the government announced a number of new changes to the Immigration Rules, which will come into effect on or after 19th November of this year.

The Home Office have addressed various matters within Asylum, Family Life and Settlement legislation. Notably, regarding the latter, it is imperative that those relying on an English language qualification for ILR and Naturalisation take a ‘secure’ test, while the £35,000 minimum earnings threshold for Tier 2 Settlement applications is set to be introduced on 6th April 2016.

With regards to business immigration, there have been several amendments to the Points-Based System:

  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
    • The endorsement criteria used by Tech City UK has been modified in order to ‘better reflect the skills and experience of target applicants who are most likely to add value to the UK digital technology sector’.
  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur
    • Confirmation of what supporting documents are eligible for illustrating continuous trading and demonstrating job creations when extending leave.
    • Additional eligibility criteria to test the genuineness of applications, focusing on any potential previous investments made in a UK business by applicants
  • Tiers 2 and 5
    • Four digital technology jobs and nurses have been added to the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List. Concerning the latter, there was widespread criticism of legislation preventing the recruitment of migrant nurses, at a time when the demand was outweighing the supply. Senior figures, such as NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens, were contributing factors to the Home Office fixing what was undoubtedly, a misjudgement.
    • An increase in annual allocations for places available under the Youth Mobility Scheme for 2016.

For further advice on any of the above, do not hesitate to contact the team

Students brace themselves for further changes this Winter

Back in July, we published an article citing changes to Tier 4 of the Point Based System. A number of these have already been introduced, however there are three further legislative amendments which ought to be brought to students’ and education providers’ attention. These come in force from 12th November 2015.

First of all, Tier 4 (General) students studying at colleges will not be able to extend their stay in Tier 4, neither will they be able to switch into any other category whilst in the UK. Only students at colleges that the Home Office have labelled as “embedded colleges offering pathway programmes” will be able to do so.

Second, dependants of Tier 4 migrants will be allowed to take part-time or full-time skilled work, but shall be prevented from taking a low or unskilled job. For those individuals who are in the process of preparing a Tier 4 application and have dependants they wish to bring to the UK, it is important to consider the implications of applying after 12th November. Joint income is key for many families and understanding how to ensure that eligible family members can work will be an important consideration.

Thirdly, and perhaps the change which may impact students most, there will be an increase to the maintenance requirements. Students affected include those deferring entry until 2016, or those extending their stay for varying reasons after 12th November:

  • All students will need to show they have £1,015 (previously £820) per month of study, while dependants must demonstrate they have £680 (previously £460) each month to support themselves. This must be abided by for a maximum of nine months or for the duration of study (whichever comes first).
  • Students studying in inner London will need to have £1,265 at their disposal per calendar month, with their dependants require £845.
  • Only dependants of those studying under Tier 4 (Doctorate Extension Scheme) will be able to benefit from the ‘established presence’ level of living costs, which has otherwise been made obsolete

For further information on these changes and on how to apply under Tier 4 of the Points Based System, do not hesitate to contact the team.