New statement of changes in immigration rules announced

The minister for immigration and Security, James Brokenshire , laid down before the House , a statement of Changes in Immigration rules three days ago. The government is making a package of changes to Points-Based System work routes to improve flexibility for applicants and help to boost economic growth.

James Brokenshire, Minister for Immigration and Security.

James Brokenshire, Minister for Immigration and Security.

The announced changes are :

  1. Expansion of Tier 1 category Visa : The Exceptionl talent category, Tier 1 Visa will now include leading talent in the digital technology sector, who are endorsed by Tech City UK. It will make it easier for applicants in this category to apply from overseas and to count time spent in other immigration categories towards qualifying for settlement.
  2. Tier 2 grants upto 5 years: Tier 2 grants which are limited to three years at present will be increased to five years at a time. Changes to Tier 2 requirements are also to be applied to Croatian nationals.
  3. New Category for overseas language teachers: New Category for overseas Government sponsored language teachers will be introduced under the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange Route. This will enable overseas government sponsored teachers to share knowledge and awareness of foreign languages and cultures in the UK. It would start with a Mandarin teaching scheme designed to foster good cultural relations between the UK and China.
  4. Scheduled updates to salary and maintenance fund requirements, as well as a number of other minor changes to Points-Based System categories. The maintenance fund changes will take effect for applications made from 1 July.
  5. Ending the exemption from the genuineness test that applies to nationals on this list when applying for a Tier 4 visa.
  6. United Arab Emirates , Qatar and Oman will be added to the list of countries whose nationals benfit from different documentary requirements. Also, Bahraini nationals who hold diplomatic and special passports issued by
    Bahrain when travelling to the UK for the purpose of a general visit will no longer have to obtain a visit visa to travel to the UK.
  7. Visa reqd for Venezuela Nationals Venezuela to be added to the list of countries whose Nationals require visa to travel to the UK.
  8. Discretionary policies for civilian employees of NATO and the Australian Department of Defence, and employees of firms under contract to NATO to be incorporated into the Immigration Rules.
    Minor changes and clarifications to the Immigration Rules relating to family life. These mainly reflect feedback from caseworkers and legal practitioners on the operation of the rules.
    • Clarification of the knowledge of language and life provisions which apply for settlement applications by partners and children of members of HM Forces.
  9. Changes to the curtailment provisions in Part 9 of the Immigration Rules (General Grounds for Refusal) “to support the Home Office in its work to take robust action against those who attempt to abuse the immigration system and ensure that migrants do not retain leave to which they are no longer entitled.” In particular:
    • incorporate the grounds in section 10(1)(b) and (c) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 in preparation for the changes made by the Immigration Bill
    • enable leave to be curtailed where a Points-Based System sponsor notifies the Home Office that a migrant’s period of study or work is due to end earlier than had been originally planned when leave to enter or remain was granted
    • make further minor changes to ensure that the wording and the intentions of the rules are clear and consistent.

Mr.Brokenshire said : “These changes today will ensure that the UK remains competitive in attracting global talent to work for British businesses, so that we can succeed in the global race.We are building an immigration system that works in the national interest as part of our long term economic plan. One that is fair to hard-working British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who break the rules or flout the law”.

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Sharanya Bharathwaj