New and Closing Visa Categories are announced
20 March 2012
Las week, a written ministerial statement has been laid in Parliament outlining a number of changes to the Immigration Rules. ost of the changes will come into effect on 6 April 2012. Some of the changes to Tier 2 will affect those who were granted leave after 6 April 2011.
The changes include:
+ Closing the Tier 1 (Post-study work) route.
+ Introducing the new Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) route.
+ Introducing new provisions for switching from Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) or Tier 1 (Post-study work) into Tier 1 (Entrepreneur).
+ Limiting the total amount of temporary leave that may be granted to a Tier 2 migrant to 6 years (which applies to those who entered after 6 April 2011).
+ Introducing a new minimum pay requirement of £35,000 or the appropriate rate for the job, for Tier 2 general and sportsperson migrants who wish to settle here from April 2016 (with exemptions for those in PhD level and shortage occupation categories).
+ Introducing a 'cooling-off period' across all the Tier 2 routes. Tier 2 migrants will need to wait for 12 months from the expiry of their previous visa before they may apply for a further Tier 2 visa.
+ Introducing new post-study arrangements for graduates switching into Tier 2.
+ Introducing limits for TIER 4 visas on the time that can be spent studying at degree level.
+ The new visitor route will allow a small group of professionals, artists, entertainers and sportspersons who are invited to come to the UK to undertake short-term permitted fee paid engagements for up to 1 month.
+ Restricting all overseas domestic workers (ODW) to only work for the employer with whom they entered the UK, or whom they came to join.
+ Removing the right for all migrants under the ODW category to apply for settlement.
+ Strengthening the requirement for the employer of an ODW to provide evidence of an existing employer relationship, and introducing a requirement for agreed, written terms and conditions of employment to be produced, as part of the application for entry clearance.
+ Restricting ODWs in private households to work for an employer who is a visitor to the UK. Permission to stay in the UK will be limited to a maximum of 6 months or the period of the employer's stay whichever is shorter.
+ Removing the current provision for ODWs to be accompanied by dependants.
In addition to these changes, the government is also making amendments to the extension of leave to remain.
Garth Coates Solicitors