Changes to the Immigration Rules – October 2013

The Home Office have announced some significant changes to the Immigration Rules that will come into effect on 1st October 2013, to summarize they are as follows: 

General and business visitors

  • General and business visitors will be able to undertake up to 30 days of recreational, English language or academic study provided it is not the main purpose of their visit. Recreational study means holiday-type and leisure course such as horse-riding or pottery. Any other study, including English language, can only take place at an institution that hold a sponsor licence under Tier 4 PBS or that is accredited by a Home Office-approved body;
  • Student visitor route will have a provision to allow students enrolled on a degree level course outside the UK to come here for a period of no more than six months, so long as they have an invitation from a university in the UK to undertake research as part of that course;
  • The prospective student visit visa will be removed;
  • Business visitors will now be permitted to also undertake short internal audits within their global corpora ration, and they will be able to receive corporate training that is, for the purposes of their employment overseas, delivered by a UK company that is not a part of the person’s employer corporate group nor whose main activity if the provision of training;

Tier 1

  • For Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applications, funding can be made available to the applicant’s business, rather than directly in the applicant’s name, providing that there is evidence to link the applicant sufficiently to that business;
  • For Tier 1 (General) applications for extensions and applications there will be a “genuine earnings” test, that gives the Home Office greater scope to test the evidence presented in cases where abuse is suspected. This change is being made as the Home Office has concerns that some applicants were submitting false claims of their earnings, particularly self-employed earnings;
  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) rules will change to reflect that the Art Council now endorses applicants with exceptional promise; 

Tier 4

  • There will be a new ‘genuineness’ test, where the Home Office will check that applicants are genuine and that they intend to meet the conditions of leave they apply for;
  • The Home Office will have the power to refuse extension applications where the applicant cannot speak English; 

Tier 2 and Tier 5

  • It will be easier for graduate entrepreneurs to switch into Tier 2, the sponsors' requirement to carry out a Resident Labour Market Test will be waived and applicants will be allowed to be paid “new entrant” rather than “experienced worker” salary rates;
  • Some selected Tier 4 students who have completed degrees in the UK will be allowed to undertake corporate internships which directly relate to their degree under the Tier 5 government authorized exchange scheme;
  • Waiving share ownership restrictions for some senior staff;
  • The Home Office will check that applicants are genuine and that they intend to meet the conditions of leave they apply for;
  • The English language requirement for intra-company transfers will be removed; 

Points Based System dependants

  • Will now be able to apply from within the UK, as long as they are not here illegally, as visitors, or on temporary admission or temporary release; 

English language requirement

  • Applicants will now pass the English language requirement up to and including level B1 or B2, if they have previously satisfied a requirement at that level in Tier 4 of the Points-Based System.

Posted on Sep 05, 2013.

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