Dear Mr Bassie,
I am planning to settle in the United Kingdom and I am being told that there have been some recent changes to the immigration rules. What are these changes and have they been implemented?
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
There have been some recently proposed amendments that have been laid in Parliament which will come into effect on April 6, 2013. I am not sure if any of these will affect you but I will inform you what these proposed changes are.
The immigration rules will include changes to Tiers 1,2, 4 and 5.
It should be noted that the Tier 1 (graduate entrepreneur) route will include additional places for talented MBA graduates from United Kingdom Higher Education Institutions. This will also include the United Kingdom Trade and Investment's elite global graduate entrepreneur scheme.
In addition, it is intended that the Tier 1 (exceptional talent) route will split the application process so that applicants will no longer have to pay all of the fee up front. This will also mean applicants will not have to submit their passport to the United Kingdom Border Agency while the person's application for endorsement by a designated competent body is being considered.
It is also expected that there will be leniency in Tier 2, to improve the flexibility for intra-company transferees and for employers carrying out the resident labour market test. This will also be extended to the shortage occupation list and the codes of practice for skilled workers.
With respect to Tier 4, the amendments will allow completing PhD students to stay in the United Kingdom for one year beyond the end of their course to find skilled work or to set up as an entrepreneur. There will also be updates to the provisions in Tier 5 for temporary workers.
Also, there have been a number of minor technical changes, corrections and updates that have been proposed and will also be made to the immigration rules. These are to include making minor changes to ensure there are the necessary requirements for granting discretionary leave to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, and amending the length of discretionary leave granted to these children to simplify the process and provide some continuity for them.
Furthermore, it is expected that there will be further clarity to the general visitor rules. There will also be minor changes to the rules on long residence and on work-related settlement. It is also expected that there will be a new route that will introduce a new protection route that will recognise stateless persons. Also, there will be amendments to family and private life and these are minor changes reflective of the input and feedback that was given during consultation from legal practitioners and the United Kingdom Border Agency caseworkers.
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.