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Statement of Changes coming into force 28th Dec 2017.
Changes relating to immigration bail
The Government proposes to commence Schedule 10 to the Immigration Act 2016 as soon as practicable. Schedule 10 introduces a new provision of immigration bail and repeals the existing powers of temporary admission and temporary release. The changes in this Statement of Changes relate to the rules concerning applications for entry clearance, leave to enter or remain, further leave or indefinite leave in various scenarios. The common factor in each case is the relevance of the applicant having last been granted, or being currently on, temporary admission or temporary release.
Those who were granted and remain on temporary admission or temporary release on the date on which the provisions of Schedule 10 are commenced will automatically be treated as if they had been granted immigration bail. After that date, temporary admission and temporary release will no longer be granted, and immigration bail will be granted instead. However, for some time after the commencement of the provisions in Schedule 10 there may be individuals whose earlier grant of temporary admission or temporary release is relevant to their application. Accordingly these references in the rules are preserved to ensure there is no prejudice caused by the changes.
Changes relating to general grounds for refusal
The last part of paragraph 320(2) in Part 9 was introduced on 22 November 2012 (HC 760). The policy intention was to emphasise the public interest in refusing to permit a person convicted of a criminal offence to enter the UK. That remains an important policy aim, but it was not the intention to create a separate public interest test to the now well established public interest test that must be taken into account in the assessment of human rights claims.
This section of paragraph 320(2) is therefore being deleted, together with the other instances of this paragraph in Appendix Armed Forces (paragraph 8(d)), Appendix FM (in paragraph S-EC.1.4) and Appendix V (in paragraph V3.4). The amendment to paragraph 320(7B) brings the treatment of applicants for leave to enter or remain into line with the treatment of entry clearance applicants.
Changes relating to electronic entry clearance
The Government proposes to commence issuing entry clearance in electronic form. This will initially be trialled with specified groups with a view to general introduction of entry clearance in electronic form at a subsequent date. These changes relate to the rules concerning the format in which an entry clearance is to be issued; and also the documents that need to be presented to an immigration officer.
Currently the Immigration Rules require an entry clearance to be endorsed in a valid passport or other identity document. The amendment to the rules will allow entry clearance to be issued both in an electronic form and by endorsement in a valid passport or identity document. Applicants who hold an entry clearance issued in electronic form will not be required to present such an entry clearance to an Immigration Officer on arrival in the UK. The issue of such an entry clearance will be checked electronically.
Changes relating to visitors
Appendix 3 to Appendix V sets out the permitted activities for all visitors except transit visitors. The permitted activities do not allow visitors other than transit visitors to transit the UK, which means that, for example a person who requires a visa to visit the UK for business, tourism, to get married or for other visit purposes, must obtain a separate visa in order to transit the UK. The change introduced by these rules will enable visitors who hold a standard or marriage/civil partnership visit visa to transit the UK without the need to obtain a separate visa. Transit visas will still be available for transit only visits.
Appendix 3 to Appendix V also sets out the study that visitors are permitted to undertake in the UK. Appendix 3 is being changed to clarify that visitors are not permitted to study at an academy or a school maintained by a local authority. Appendix 5 to Appendix V comprises a list of events that are Permit Free Festivals. Permit Free Festivals are events that are assessed as contributing to the cultural heritage of the UK and at which performers can, exceptionally, be paid for their participation as visitors. Visitors cannot normally receive payment from a UK source for any permitted activities they undertake here. The list for 2017/18 has been updated to include the Africa Utopia festival.
Changes relating to Tier 1 of the Points-Based System
Tier 1 of the Points-Based System caters for high value migrants, and currently consists of four active categories: Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent), Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur). It also includes the Tier 1 (General) category, which was closed to new applicants in April 2011 but remains open for settlement applications until April 2018. The Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) category was closed in April 2012. Provisions relevant to switching from this category to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) or Tier 1 (Investor) categories are being removed as they are no longer required.
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category caters for applicants coming to the UK to set up, take over, or be involved in the running of a UK business. In response to feedback, the “Attributes” requirements for this category in Appendix A are being rewritten to make them clearer and easier to follow. There are also consequential minor changes to Part 6A. The requirements themselves are unchanged, other than the following:
Changes relating to Tier 2 of the Points-Based System
Tier 2 of the Points-Based System caters for migrant workers with an offer of a skilled job from a licensed employer. There are four categories: General, IntraCompany Transfer (ICT), Minister of Religion and Sportsperson. Tier 2 (General) 7.19. The Tier 2 (General) category is for migrant workers with an offer of a skilled job from a licensed employer which cannot be filled by a resident worker.
The following changes are being made to this category:
The Tier 2 (ICT) category supports inward investment and trade by allowing multinational employers to transfer key company personnel from overseas to their UK branch. The following changes are being made to this category:
Changes to indefinite leave to remain in work categories
The requirement to have had absences from the UK of no more than 180 days per year in order to qualify for settlement, which currently applies to main applicants, is being extended to partners of Points-Based System Migrants. To ensure that this requirement does not have retrospective effect, only absences from the UK during periods of leave granted under the rules in place from 11 January 2018 will count towards the 180 days.
The maximum 180 days absences requirement is waived for absences when applicants have assisted with the Ebola crisis in West Africa. This provision is being widened to include assisting with any national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis. An amendment is being made so that Tier 2 Migrants are no longer required to have been continuously employed throughout the qualifying period to be eligible for settlement. The provision is unnecessary as a Tier 2 migrant who is no longer working for their Sponsor is subject to curtailment.
Minor changes are being made to provide clarification, to remove duplication and inconsistencies relating to:
Changes relating to Short-Term Study
Short term study (STS) is the route used to study in the UK for up to 6 months (or up to 11 months when studying an English language course). The following changes are being made:
Changes relating to family members of Tier 4 migrants
Work rights for dependants of Tier 4 students are being updated to ensure these remain if the relevant main Tier 4 applicant is applying, or been granted leave, to study the same course for which they have previously been granted leave of 12 months or more, as a Tier 4 (General) Student. Amendments are being made so that Tier 4 students studying part-time courses will not be able to bring dependants to the UK.
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