Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC667, 3 November 2016

| Nov 07, 2016
Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC667 was laid out on the 3rd November 2016.The more significant changes are to Tier 2 skileld workers, for whom the minimum salary level is increased, to Tier 4, the introduction of a new English language requirement for family immigration and the abolition of the 28 day grace period for making out of time immigration applications. Some of the main substantive changes are outlined in an accompanying press release: Tier 2 Implement the first of 2 phases of changes to Tier 2, announced by the government in March following a review by the Independent Migration Advisory Committee. Increasing the Tier 2 (General) salary threshold for experienced workers to £25,000, with some exemptions Increasing the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) salary threshold for short term staff to £30,000 Reducing the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) graduate trainee salary threshold to £23,000 and increasing the number of places to 20 per company per year Closing the Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) skills transfer sub-category These changes will come into effect for all certificates of sponsorship assigned by Tier 2 sponsors on or after 24 November 2016. The date from which intra company transfers will be liable for the health surcharge will be announced in due course. Tier 4 A number of changes are being made, including amendments to the academic progression rule, maintenance requirements for the Doctorate Extension Scheme and evidence of overseas qualifications, UK qualifications used as evidence, and a series of minor and technical adjustments. English language requirement As announced in January this year, a new English language requirement at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is being introduced for non-EEA partners and parents. This affects those applying to extend their stay after 2.5 years in the UK on a 5-year route to settlement under Appendix FM (Family Member) of the Immigration Rules. The new requirement will apply to partners and parents whose current leave under the family Immigration Rules is due to expire on or after 1 May 2017. The abolition of the 28 day period of permissible overstay for the purpose of making a new application is big and very unwelcome news. The various references to the 28 day rule are replaced with reference to a new paragraph 39E which applies where: (1) the application was made within 14 days of the applicant’s leave expiring and the Secretary of State considers that there was a good reason beyond the control of the applicant or their representative, provided in or with the application, why the application could not be made in-time; or (2) the application was made: (a) following the refusal of a previous application for leave which was made in-time or to which sub-paragraph (1) applied; and (b) within 14 days of: (i) the refusal of the previous application for leave; or (ii) the expiry of any leave extended by section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971; or (iii) the expiry of the time-limit for making an in-time application for administrative review or appeal (where applicable); or (iv) any administrative review or appeal being concluded, withdrawn or abandoned or lapsing. The Explanatory Memorandum explains the new approach thus: The 28-day period is therefore to be abolished. However, an out of time application will not be refused on the basis that the applicant has overstayed where the Secretary of State considers that there is a good reason beyond the control of the applicant or their representative, given in or with the application, why an in time application could not be made, provided the application is made within 14 days of the expiry of leave. There will presumably be guidance forthcoming on what might constitute a “good reason”, which will be crucial. Provision is also made so that those who made use of the 28 day rule while it existed are not penalised when it comes to continuous residence applications further down the line. Other changes include: Tightening up refusals on public policy grounds to provide for mandatory rather than discretionary refusals. Adjusting and rewording the rules on validity of applications. Relatively minor clarification and changes to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) The upper age limit of 65 for domestic workers in private households is removed along with some other changes to domestic worker categories. Incorporating existing EU safe third country law into the Immigration Rules. Slight clarification of the Administrative Review process. Various amendments to the family and private life rules including decreasing the threshold for refusal because of NHS debt from £1000 to £500 and adjustments to the specified evidence provisions. Slight relaxation of the rules on visitors so that refusal is not mandatory where a person previously breached immigration laws, is now outside the re-entry ban period and has since then been readmitted to the UK. If diving into the detail, the best place to start is the accompanying Explanatory Memorandum.

UK IMMIGRATION RULES CHANGES FOR OCTOBER 2015

| Nov 21, 2015
Most of the following changes affect applications made on or after 19 November 2015. Asylum EU nationals will not be able to make asylum claims, unless exceptional circumstances apply. Clarifying the circumstances in which refugee status will be withdrawn. Settlement Indefinite leave and naturalisation applicants, who normally rely on an English language qualification, will need to take a Secure English Language Test. The introduction of the £35k minimum earnings threshold for Tier 2 settlement, which will come into force on 6 April 2016. Family/Private Life Child’s application for entry clearance will be refused where the Secretary of State considers that the sponsor or the sponsor’s partner poses a risk to the child. Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) of the Points Based System Criteria through which Tech City UK endorses Exceptional Talent applicants has been amended to better reflect the skills and experience of target applicants who are most likely to add value to the UK digital technology sector. Tiers 2 and 5 of the Points Based System Four jobs in the digital technology sector (product manager, data scientist, senior developer and cyber security specialist) are being added to the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), alongside nursing Clarification of the charity worker rules for sponsors and applicants. Setting the annual allocation of places available under the Youth Mobility Scheme for 2016. Minor amendments to the list of Government Authorised Exchange Schemes. For information visit www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-rules-statement-of-changes

Rules restricting the flow of nurses into Britain are to be lifted

| Nov 17, 2015
Rules restricting the flow of nurses into Britain are to be lifted in response to widespread shortages of workers across the National Health Service. Nurses will now be added to the Government's Shortage Occupation List on an interim basis, pending further work by the independent Migration Advisory Committee.This temporary rule change will mean that nurses from outside the European Economic Area that apply to work in the UK will have their applications for nursing posts prioritised. This change will be subject to review by the independent Migration Advisory Committee, which will present further evidence to the Government by February 2016.

Changes to English Language Requirements for Indefinite Leave and Naturalisation applicants

| Nov 12, 2015
From the 19 November 2015 Indefinite leave and Naturalisation applicants will have to sit tougher UK immigration English language tests called Secure English Language Tests as part of the new requirements for Indefinite Leave and Naturalisation Applications. Other English language qualifications will no longer be accepted from this date by the UKBA.

Citizens of EU and EEA countries and their family members must now apply for permanent residence card for British nationality applications

| Nov 12, 2015
From 12 November 2015,Citizens of EU and EEA countries and their family members must now apply for permanent residence card for British nationality applications under the British Nationality (General) (Amendment No. 3) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/1806).

Travelling to work 'is work', European court rules

| Nov 11, 2015
The European Court of Justice has ruled in the case of "(Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco Integrated Security SL and another [2015] IRLR 935 ECJ)" that time spent travelling to and from first and last appointments by workers without a fixed or habitual place of work should be regarded as working time under the Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC). This means Employers including those employing care workers, gas fitters and sales reps may be in breach of EU working time regulations.

Travelling to work 'is working Time', European court rules

| Nov 10, 2015
The European Court of Justice has ruled in the case of "(Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco Integrated Security SL and another [2015] IRLR 935 ECJ)" that time spent travelling to and from first and last appointments by workers without a fixed or habitual place of work should be regarded as working time under the Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC). This means Employers including those employing care workers, gas fitters and sales reps may be in breach of EU working time regulations.

New Upcoming Changes to Immigration Rules

| Nov 07, 2015
Asylum • Not allowing EU nationals to make asylum claims, unless exceptional circumstances apply. • Clarifying the circumstances in which refugee status will be withdrawn. Settlement • Ensuring indefinite leave and naturalisation applicants, who normally rely on an English language qualification, take a Secure English Language Test. • The introduction of the £35k minimum earnings threshold for Tier 2 settlement, which will come into force on 6 April 2016. Family/Private Life • Providing that a child’s application for entry clearance will be refused where the Secretary of State considers that the sponsor or the sponsor’s partner poses a risk to the child. Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) of the Points Based System • Amending the endorsement criteria used by Tech City UK, to better reflect the skills and experience of target applicants who are most likely to add value to the UK digital technology sector. Tiers 2 and 5 of the Points Based System • Adding nurses and four digital technology jobs to the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List. • Changes to clarify the charity worker rules for sponsors and applicants. • Setting the annual allocation of places available under the Youth Mobility Scheme for 2016. • Minor amendments to the list of Government Authorised Exchange Schemes. Additional technical changes are being made to the Immigration Rules. For more information visit www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-rules-statement-of-changes Home Office

New Upcoming Changes to Immigration Rules

| Nov 06, 2015
Asylum • Not allowing EU nationals to make asylum claims, unless exceptional circumstances apply. • Clarifying the circumstances in which refugee status will be withdrawn. Settlement • Ensuring indefinite leave and naturalisation applicants, who normally rely on an English language qualification, take a Secure English Language Test. • The introduction of the £35k minimum earnings threshold for Tier 2 settlement, which will come into force on 6 April 2016. Family/Private Life • Providing that a child’s application for entry clearance will be refused where the Secretary of State considers that the sponsor or the sponsor’s partner poses a risk to the child. Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) of the Points Based System • Amending the endorsement criteria used by Tech City UK, to better reflect the skills and experience of target applicants who are most likely to add value to the UK digital technology sector. Tiers 2 and 5 of the Points Based System • Adding nurses and four digital technology jobs to the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List. • Changes to clarify the charity worker rules for sponsors and applicants. • Setting the annual allocation of places available under the Youth Mobility Scheme for 2016. • Minor amendments to the list of Government Authorised Exchange Schemes. Home Office

New rules for how fingerprints, facial images and biometric information are managed will come into effect from 6 April 2015.

| Jun 05, 2015
Changes are being made to the way in which biometric information, including fingerprints and facial images, are being managed from 6 April 2015. The new rules will mean that anyone registering or naturalising as a British Citizen will need to provide their biometrics as part of their application. Non-EEA nationals applying for a residence card, derivative residence card or permanent residence card will also need to submit their biometrics. The changes will help align existing legislation and tighten up checks for those applying to stay in the UK. It will also make it easier to verify people’s identities, for individuals to prove their status in the UK and for the Home Office to identify those who do not have the right to be in the UK. How to submit biometrics An applicant who is applying in the UK will need to attend a Post Office so their biometrics can be taken. This will be set out in their enrolment letter they will receive after they apply. Those people applying from overseas to become British Citizens will be required to enrol their biometrics at a biometric enrolment centre, such as a Visa Application Centre. Alternatively if they are travelling to the UK they can enrol their biometrics at a UK Post Office. Residence card (biometric format) Successful applicants will receive a residence card (RC) in a new biometric format. The cards are similar in design to the biometric residence permit (BRP). They are the size of a credit card, and show a person’s personal information e.g. name, date of birth and nationality, status in the UK and a photograph. Please note: the RC is different to a BRP, which are issued to certain non-EEA nationals who are subject to immigration control. RCs are issued to non-EEA nationals who have a right of residence in the UK under EU law. Retention and usage Fingerprint information will normally be retained for up to 10 years. However, where a person is considered to pose a threat to the UK or for those who are permanently settled in the UK, information will be retained for immigration or nationality purposes. Once an individual becomes a British Citizen their biometric information will be deleted. However, their photographs will be retained until they obtain their first British passport. Further guidance will be published on the GOV.UK website when the changes go live on 6 April. UKBA