Dear Mr Bassie,
I have been told that there have been some recent changes that will affect non-European Economic Area nationals applying to enter or remain in the United Kingdom (UK). Could you inform us what form these changes will take?
There have been some changes to the immigration rules that have come into effect on December 13, 2012, and these changes will affect non-European Economic Area nationals applying to enter or remain in the United Kingdom (UK). These include non-substantive changes to all points-based system tiers:
Tier 1 - entrepreneurs and investors;
Tier 2 - skilled workers, including changes for senior intra-company transfers;
Tier 4 - students, including extending the interim limit;
Tier 5 - temporary workers, including the requirements for the government-authorised exchange category and private servants in a diplomatic household; and
Sponsorship - revised sponsorship guidance.
As a result of these changes, the authorities are intent on establishing a more robust and clear criminality framework against which immigration applications will be assessed. This will include recalculating the length of time, based on the length of sentence, before the authorities will revoke a deportation order.
There will also be an introduction of a re-entry ban, for some foreign national offenders who have been removed from the UK as part of a conditional caution and additional powers to end or curtail a migrant's visa or leave. In addition, there will be the creation of a 'route' for ex-armed forces personnel to remain in the UK.
Also, there will be amendments made that will clarify any absences from the UK that are allowed during the continuous residence period for settlement for Tier 1 (General), Tier 2 and pre-points-based system work routes, for example, work permits, self-employment and business persons.
There will be minor changes to the child and parent routes, to make these as clear and comprehensive as possible, and changes will be made that are aimed at simplifying the operation of the income threshold for sponsoring family migrants. In addition, the authorities have updated the application forms and guidance notes. With respect to family and private life, it is anticipated that in early 2013 there will also be some changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme quotas and Tier 4 loan letters.
I hope this helps.
John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator, and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: email@example.com.