Changes to Immigration Rules (2012)

The government has made more changes to the Immigration Rules, many of a minor nature.  In response to the Supreme Court judgment of Alvi the government has placed more guidance into the Immigration Rules so that it does not fall foul of the constitutional requirement that it must be laid before parliament before any substantive immigration requirements become lawfully binding.  Existing errors have also been corrected and clarification has been provided in respect of the particularly poorly drafted recent family migration requirements and new Long Residence and Private Life Rules.

The changes of note are set out below:-

  1. Changes have been made to the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) scheme to allow Tier 2 and Tier 5 migrants to switch into this category inside the UK.  Previously, all Exceptional Talent applicants were required to apply for entry clearance from outside the UK.
  2. The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Unique Reference Number (URN) system which required an applicant to request a URN before they could apply, and which also managed the annual limit of 1000 places, has been removed.  This will make the process more straightforward.
  3. Changes have been made to the leave to remain rules in respect of partners of Points-Based System (PBS) migrants.  Where the main PBS migrant obtains indefinite leave to remain (settlement) before their dependent partner the dependant can now apply for further leave in the PBS dependent category rather than requiring the partner to apply for leave to remain as the partner of a settled person.  They would be granted three years’ further leave in this category.
  4. Leave to remain as the dependent partner of a PBS migrant will now count towards the five-year probationary period for settlement in respect of partners of persons settled in the UK.
  5. Changes are also made to the leave to remain rules in respect of the children of Points-Based System (PBS) migrants.  Children can now apply in this category to join the main PBS migrant after they have been granted settlement and the child will not be able to apply for settlement  in the UK until both parents are settled or applying for settlement, unless the main PBS migrant has sole responsibility for the child.

Posted on Sep 05, 2012.

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