Changes to the Immigration Rules from October 2013

immigration rules, immigration, october 10 September 2013

This week, a ministerial statement laid out several changes that will be made to the Immigration Rules, coming into force on 1 October 2013.

The Home Office states that these changes will mean "greater flexibility for businesses and workers". For example, the English language requirement will be removed for intra-company transferees. Other changes for businesses and workers include:

· For senior staff earning £152,000 or more, the restrictions on share ownership will be removed.

· Those who demonstrate "exceptional promise in the arts" will be able to apply for entry to the UK under Tier 1.

· Business visitors will be able to engage in more activities in the UK.

Tourist and business visitors will also be allowed to do some studying in the UK, as long as it is not the main reason for the visit.

Students will be subject to these changes:

· The process for graduate entrepreneurs to switch to a Tier 2 visa will be simplified.

· Some students will be allowed to work as interns in the UK under the Tier 5 Youth mobility scheme (which allows selected young people from participating countries to experience life in the UK ­- new quotas have been set for 2014).

· The prospective student route will be removed.

· Adult students (Tier 4) may be refused entry if they cannot speak English.

Further changes include:

· There will be extra checks to ensure work and student visa applicants are genuine.

· Changes will be made to the way the Home Office handles settlement applications for refugees who have committed crimes, especially for more serious crimes.

· Temporary Immigration Rules will be introduced for certain participants and personnel of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Some immediate changes have also come into effect, which are intended to clarify existing rules and previous changes. For instance, there are now clearer guidelines on the evidence needed in support of family visas. There is also a new power for the Home Office to cut leave short if a migrant repeatedly commits crime or causes serious harm.

Additionally, from 28 October, there will also be changes to the way applicants for Indefinite Leave to Remain need to prove their knowledge of English and of life in the UK.

For advice on how these changes could affect your upcoming visa application, contact us today.

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