New Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules July 2018

New Statement of changes was passed to the Parliament on the 15th of June 2018. These changes will come into force on 6thof July 2018.

Changes are applicable to:

  • Returning Residents
  • Overstayers
  • Tier 1
  • Tier 2
  • Absences for Indefinite Leave to Remain Applications
  • Students
  • Afghan Citizens
  • Dubs Amendment and Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016
  • Turkish Workers
  • Other Changes

Returning Residents

For those that have been absent from the UK for longer than two years, must apply for a leave to enter by re-establishing that they have convincing ties to the UK and that they do intend to make UK their permanent home. Those who have been absent for under two years can return without a visa. The new Rules also state that exceptions to the two-year rule for family members only now apply for the permanent diplomats.

 Overstayers

Paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules allows Overstayers to make two consecutive applications as an exception. However, from 6th of July they will only be able to make and rely on the exception once. Also, Paragraph 320 (7BB) of the Rules will have changes. This means that out-of-time application made under the application of paragraph 39E will disregard the period of overstay pursuant paragraph 320(7B).

EXAMPLE:

Jamey’s leave was expiring on 05th  June 2018. Application for leave to remain as a spouse was submitted on 07th  June 2018. This application was out of time but within 14 days of his leave expiring. Jamey explained that he had been medically not well and hospitalised and hence could not have applied before. SSHD accepts this as a good reason beyond Jamey’s control, such that his application can be considered under the rules, disregarding the overstay. However, Jamey’s application is refused because he did not meet the English language requirement. The refusal is dated 10th  July.

Previously, relying on paragraph 39E, Jamey would have had an opportunity to make another application by 24th July, and again disregarding the overstay. From 6 July, this will no longer be possible for Jamey. It is now only possible for an applicant to apply for further leave within 14 days of the expiry of the previous leave disregarding the overstay once.

Tier 1

There will no longer be rules in relation to indefinite leave to remain for Tier 1 (General) Migrants as the route is now closed as of 6th of April 2018. Applications submitted after 6th of July 2018 in relation to Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) will widen for arts. The endorsement of arts applicants will now include individuals in the fashion industry.

Applicants under Tier 1 (Investor) can no longer take out dividend and interest payments generated before the investment portfolio purchase. In addition to this, Applicants must prove that the funds are only, duly invested in qualifying investments and that no loan is or has been secured against those funds. In relation to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applications, minor changes will reflect the timing requirement of letters from legal representatives and will reflect the provision for accountants to approve that the investment has in fact been only made on the applicant.

Tier 2

Visas for skilled non-EU workers were always limited. From 6th of July 2018, doctors and nurses will be exempt.

  • Deletion of references to jobs sponsored at level 4 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework, as, since June 2012, this was increased to RQF level 6.
  • Clarification that an applicant cannot own more than 10% of shares, even if indirectly (for example via another corporate entity), in a limited company sponsoring them, save for certain exceptions. The old Rules did not specify that an application could not own the shares indirectly.
  • Applicants applying after 6 July 2018 who have been absent on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave will now need to submit evidence of the adoption or birth.
  • Finally, a migrant who has been absent for work without pay for four weeks or more will no longer have their Tier 2 leave curtailed when the absence was for assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis overseas, providing their sponsor agreed to the absence(s) for that purpose.

Absences for Indefinite Leave to Remain Applications

Secretary of State, introduced a transitional arrangement to ensure that the new absences calculation rule does not adversely affect applicants whose absences occurred during leave granted under Rules in place prior to 11 January. A second change to the Rules relating to when continuous residence is broken brings the entry clearance provisions in line with the more generous in-country provisions. Continuous residence will usually not be considered to be broken when the applicant left and returned provided they had leave, and there are some exceptions. Two new exceptions have been added:

  • where the applicant makes an application for entry clearance within 14 days of the leave expiring and the Secretary of State considers that there was a good reason beyond the control of the applicant or their representative why the application could not be made during the currency of continuing limited leave; or
  • where a successful application for entry clearance is made following the refusal of a previous application to which an exception applied, and the application was made within 14 days of that refusal (or the expiry of the time limit for making an in-time application for administrative review, or any administrative review or appeal being concluded, withdrawn or abandoned or lapsing).

Students

Students will be subject to the Academic Technology Approval Scheme if they are going to study and learn knowledge and skills that can be used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. All applicants must now obtain a certificate before they proceed irregardless of the length of their studies. Students will also be able to study on a study abroad programme even if the program was introduced newly in the current course.

Postgraduate migrants will now be able to bring their dependents with them to the UK as long as the course is six months or more. Students can provide evidence of previous qualifications online. This includes electronic copies from awarding bodies online checking services. However, this is up to the discretion of Home Office as they still have the right to ask and see the original copy.

As per documentary evidence requirements, the list varies depending on the country. The new changes will expand the country list allowing students to decide which evidence to submit based on where the application is made. Therefore, they will have the ability to choose from their country of residence or their country of nationality.

Afghan Citizens

New Rules are introduced to provide a route to settlement for Afghan citizens granted leave under these schemes, and their immediate family members. To be eligible for settlement, Afghan nationals and their family members will need to have lived in the UK with leave granted under the scheme for five years, and not fall for refusal because of good character. The application will be free of charge and there will be a specific form for settlement applications under this route, although that has not yet been released.

Dubs Amendment and Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016

Children who do not qualify for international protection or humanitarian protection but are admitted to the UK under the Dubs amendment, can now be granted a new leave, Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 leave.

This leave will be granted if it is proven that:

  1. the person is not excluded from being a refugee under regulation 7 of the Refugee or Person in Need of International Protection (Qualification) Regulations 2006 or excluded from a grant of humanitarian protection under paragraph 339D of these Rules;
  2. the person’s application for refugee status or humanitarian protection has been refused;
  3. there are no reasonable grounds for regarding the person as a danger to the security of the United Kingdom;
  4. the person has not been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, and does not constitute a danger to the community of the United Kingdom; and
  5. none of the general grounds for refusal in paragraph 322 apply.

If the conditions are satisfied, the child will be given a leave for five years. The leave will not restrict the child from studying, working and accessing public funds. Furthermore, where the child is unable to obtain a national passport, they will be able to obtain a UK travel document as long as they are not refused on grounds of national security or public order. If the child completes five years of residence in the UK, they will be eligible for indefinite leave to remain and will not incur any application fees. Similarly, dependent children will also be given leave as long as the main applicant that has the parental responsibility is granted leave.

Turkish Workers

The UK Government is introducing the European Communities Association Agreement also known as Appendix ECAA or Ankara Agreement. This route will allow Turkish workers, business individuals and their family members to obtain indefinite leave to remain in the UK as long as certain conditions are met. They are as follows:

  1. their last grant of leave was under the ECAA;
  2. they have lived in the UK continuously for five years;
  3. they have shown sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom, in accordance with Appendix KoLL;
  4. they have been able to support any family members with them without recourse to public funds to which they are not entitled; and
  5. they do not fall for refusal under general grounds for refusal.

Dependent children will be given indefinite leave to remain as long as the main applicant is granted leave. Dependent children do not have to prove the five years residence. However, partners of the main applicant need to show that they have resided in the UK for five years before they can be eligible for the indefinite leave to remain. Therefore, if the main applicant obtains the indefinite leave to remain before the partner reaches the five-year residence period, the partner can apply for further leave to remain so that they can obtain the five-year residence.

Other Changes

From 1st of July 2018, Croatian nationals will no longer require authorization to work or require registration cards to prove right to work as they will benefit from the entirety of EU Movement Rules. This will allow Croatian Nationals to apply freely as there will no longer be any more limits under the Tier 1 and Tier 2 route.

An adopted child who has limited leave as per Family Immigration Rules and is aged 18 years or above at the time of the application for indefinite leave to remain, must be able to satisfy the Knowledge of Language and Life requirement. Finally, changes will be made to the list of approved government authorized exchange schemes for Tier 5 migrants.

The full statement of changes can be viewed here.

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