New changes in PBS (Sept. 2009)

The UKBA has announced several changes in the requirements and the procedure of the following applications that will be applicable from 01st of Oct. 2009:

I    Representatives of Overseas Business Category:

1. Sole Representatives
From 01st of Oct. 2009, Sole Representatives of overseas companies would be required to pass an English language test in line with the language requirement for working in the UK under Tier 2 of the PBS i.e. at least 4.0 in IELTS.

They would also be given initial leave for 3 years that could be extended for further 2 years.

2. Representatives of Overseas Media Organizations
Initially it was planned to bring this category under Tier 2 (ICT) but due to the reasons that the overseas media organizations might not have a UK existence, the idea of bringing it under the PBS did not work. This is the reason it has been decided to bring this immigration category back into the Immigration Rules.

Like Sole representatives, they would also be required to meet the English language requirement and they would be given initial leave for 3 years that could be extended for further 2 years.

II    Tier 1 (General)

1.    The rules will be amended to permit the Tier 1 Migrants who did not have any restrictions to work as a doctor on the foundation program or doctor in speciality training during their previous leave, to work as doctor in training.

2.    From 01st of Oct. 2009, student would not be allowed to make use of their earnings before commencing their full-time studies. Previously student were permitted to rely on their overseas earnings before coming to the UK on student visas but the new amendment will make them use only their most recent earnings.

III    Tier 1 (PSW)

The new amendment expands the eligibility of those persons who complete the relevant qualification while residing in the UK on a leave other than a student visa. From 01st of Oct. 2009, it will not be necessary to have a student visa during the studies of the relevant qualification. For example, a person residing on dependant visa can also make an application under Tier 1 (PSW).

IV    Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

The new amendment will award 10 points under English language automatically to those who got their initial leave under Business Person category under the previous immigration rules. They were required to satisfy the stringent English language criteria, but the rules will be relaxed to acknowledge that the English language requirement was not a requirement when they got their initial leave.

V    Tier 2

1.    The restriction of not having more than 10% of shares in the company will no more be applicable for Tier 2 (ICT) applications. This will make the board members or other senior management having shares in the company to apply under this category.

2.    Sole Representatives or Representatives of overseas media organizations will be able to switch to Tier 2 (ICT) and they would also be able to make use of their time spent in the UK for the qualifying period of 6 months.

3.    The periods of maternity, paternity or adoption leave will be taken into account when considering the migrant's past employment with his / her sponsor for Tier 2 (ICT) and those migrants switching into Tier 2 (G) from Tier 1 (PSW).

VI    Tier 4

1.    From 01st of Oct. 2009, Tier 4 sponsors will be able to issue electronic confirmation of acceptance for studies that would be used in lieu of the visa letters for leave to remain applications. However, it will not become an absolute requirement as the Tier 4 sponsors will be able to issue visa letters as well as electronic confirmation.

2.    The new rules will remove the requirement that course-related work placements do not exceed half the total length of the course of study in the UK for cases where a longer work placement is required by UK statute.

3.    Tier 4 migrants will be prevented to study at any institution that is not the migrant's sponsor (except taking supplementary study).

Posted on Sep 13, 2009.

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