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The purposes of the main changes are to:
The changes to Part 7 set out in paragraph 7.2, to Part 8 set out in paragraphs 8.1 and 8.2, to Part 11 set out in paragraph 11.1, to Appendix A set out in paragraphs A14 to A17 and A21 to A25, to Appendix ECAA set out in paragraph ECAA1., to Appendix FM set out in paragraphs FM1. to FM4. and to Appendix FM-SE set out in paragraphs FM-SE1. and FM-SE2. of this statement shall take effect from 6 July 2018 and will apply to all decisions made on or after that date.
The other changes set out in this statement shall take effect on 6 July 2018. However, in relation to those changes, if an application has been made for entry clearance or leave to enter or remain before 6 July 2018, the application will be decided in accordance with the Immigration Rules in force on 5 July 2018.
Changes relating to returning residents
The returning residents rules set out the provisions relating to persons who have acquired indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK and who are returning to the UK following an absence overseas. This could also include those returning to the UK, under these provisions, as part of the Windrush policy. Changes have been made to clarify the distinction between those who have been absent from the UK for less than 2 years and so retain their indefinite leave status, from those whose indefinite leave has lapsed due to an absence of more than 2 years. Those in the latter category must now apply for entry clearance and demonstrate they have strong ties to the UK in order to be issued indefinite leave to enter.
Changes relating to leave to enter or stay in the UK
A minor change is being made to the wording of paragraph 39E (exceptions for overstayers) because, as currently worded, the paragraph would permit some applicants to make one additional application, which is not the policy intention.
39E. This paragraph applies where:
Applicants should not be able to make any additional applications. The change will close this discrepancy.
Changes relating to refusal of entry clearance or leave to enter the United Kingdom
Paragraph 320(7BB) sets out the specific circumstances in which previous periods of overstaying should be disregarded. A minor change is being made to the wording of this rule to clarify that overstaying, pending the determination of any out of time application made on or after 24 November 2016 to which paragraph 39E applies, will also be disregarded for the purposes of calculating the period of overstaying in paragraph 320(7B)(i).
Changes relating to immigration bail
The Government commenced Schedule 10 to the Immigration Act 2016 on 15 January 2018. This introduced a new provision of “immigration bail” and repealed the existing powers of temporary admission and temporary release, as well as immigration bail under Schedule 2 of the Immigration Act 1971.
The change in this Statement of Changes relates to the rule concerning applications for leave to enter or remain, as the child of a person with limited leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom. Other rules changes have already been made to those rules relating to 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.
Transitional provisions provide that those who were granted temporary admission or temporary release before 15 January 2018, and whose grant remained extant on that date, are automatically treated as if they had been granted immigration bail under Schedule 10 to the 2016 Act. After that date, temporary admission and temporary release can no longer be granted, and immigration bail is 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 Tier 1 of the Points-Based System
Tier 1 of the Points-Based System caters for high value migrants. The current rules contain four active categories: Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent), Tier 1 (Investor), Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur). They also include the Tier 1 (General) category, which was closed to new applicants in April 2011 but remained open for settlement applications until 6 April 2018.
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category is for talented individuals in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the arts and digital technology to work in the UK without the need to be sponsored for employment in a specific post. Applicants must be endorsed by a Designated Competent Body. The following changes are being made to this category:
The endorsement of arts applicants is being widened to include those in the fashion industry who are operating leading designer fashion businesses. These applicants will be assessed by the British Fashion Council operating within the endorsement remit of Arts Council England.
Other changes are being made to the criteria for endorsement by each Designated Competent Body, at those bodies’ requests. These include changes to the evidential requirements for applicants holding a peer-reviewed research fellowship; changes to the criteria and list of eligible awards for applicants in film and television; and changes for digital technology applicants to reflect the rebranding of “Tech City UK” as “Tech Nation”.
Amendments are being made so that endorsements for Croatian nationals no longer count against the number of allocated endorsements available to each Designated Competent Body. This is because Croatian nationals will no longer need to apply for work authorisation in this category, owing to the lifting of transitional controls on the work rights of Croatian nationals on the occasion, this July, of the fifth anniversary of Croatia’s accession to the EU in July 2013.
Tier 1 (Investor)
The Tier 1 (Investor) category is for high net worth individuals making an investment of at least £2 million in the UK. The following changes are being made to this category:
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
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. Applicants must have either £200,000 or £50,000 funds (depending on the circumstances) to invest in their businesses.
Two amendments are being made to:
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.
The following additional changes are being made to Tier 2:
Changes to indefinite leave to remain in work categories
Applicants for indefinite leave to remain must complete a continuous period (usually 5 years) with valid leave and absences from the UK of no more than 180 days in any 12-month period during that time. The following changes are being made to these provisions:
A transitional arrangement is being applied, to ensure that the new absences calculation rule, effective from 11 January 2018 (in HC 309), does not adversely affect applicants whose absences occurred during leave granted under Rules in place prior to that date.
Provisions setting out when an applicant’s continuity of leave is not broken are currently more generous for in-country applications than for entry clearance applications (where applicants have otherwise had continuous stay in the UK but happen to be overseas when their previous leave expires). Changes are being made to bring the entry clearance provisions into line with the (more generous) in-country provisions.
Changes relating to short-term students
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). A clarification has been added to A57E to confirm that short-term students who receive a visa for a course of study between 6 and 11 months, will not have ‘accompanied’ or ‘unaccompanied’ stated on their vignette.
Paragraph A57F has been amended to reflect that short-term students are subject to Part 15 of the Immigration Rules, which specifies that migrants studying certain subjects, such as aerospace engineering, must obtain an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) certificate, prior to commencing their studies.
Changes relating to Tier 4 of the Points-Based System
Tier 4 of the Points-Based System is the route used by non-EEA nationals wishing to study in the UK. Tier 4 is comprised of two categories: Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child).
An addition is being made, to paragraph 120(a) of Appendix A to the Immigration Rules, to specify that where a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is issued for study on such a course, the CAS will only be valid if the course is accredited as leading to an accredited qualification at the required level.
Paragraphs 120-SD and 125-SD of Appendix A set out the types of specified documents which are acceptable as evidence of a Tier 4 student’s previous qualifications. Currently these are limited to original certificates of qualification, transcripts of results, original references (or a copy, together with an original letter from the Tier 4 sponsor confirming it is a true copy of the reference they assessed).
Due to the increasing trend towards digital results, the Government is widening the scope of acceptable evidence of previous qualifications so as to include print outs from awarding bodies’ online checking services. However, the Government is reserving the power to see the original certificates of qualification or transcript of results.
Appendix H, which sets out Tier 4 documentary requirements, has been updated to include only countries whose Tier 4 students have met strict risk criteria, including visa nationals for the first time. Another amendment is being made to Appendix H to allow nationals of these countries to benefit from different documentary requirements even if they apply from their country of residence, and not only when they do so from their country of nationality.
Changes relating to Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificates
The ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) was introduced to help restrict the spread of knowledge and skills that could be used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Part 15 is being amended to delete the reference to “in excess of 6 months”. Students who undertake a period of study or research, of any length, in one of the subjects listed in paragraphs 1 or 2 of Appendix 6 of the Immigration Rules, at an institution of higher education where this forms part of an overseas postgraduate qualification, will be required to obtain an ATAS certificate.
Changes relating to Tier 5 of the Points-Based System
In Appendix N, the ‘Sponsored Scientific Researcher Initiative’ is being deleted. In Appendix N, the ‘UKRI – Science, Research and Academia’ scheme has been added to the list of approved Government Authorised exchange schemes. This scheme replaces the ‘Sponsored Scientific Researcher Initiative’ and provides expanded provisions for enabling overseas researchers to come to the UK, promoting international collaboration, knowledge exchange and skills transfer.
Changes relating to limited leave to enter for relevant Afghan citizens
There are two separate schemes to assist former Locally Engaged Staff in Afghanistan: the ex-gratia redundancy scheme and the Intimidation policy.
Changes relating to section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 leave
Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 requires the Government to relocate to the UK and support a specified number of unaccompanied children from Europe. In line with this provision to the Immigration Act 2016, and following consultation with local authorities, the Government set the specified number at 480.
The spirit of the Parliamentary debates at the time of the Act’s passage, and the Secretary of State’s statutory obligation towards these children – ‘to relocate and support’ – is interpreted as rationale for granting a bespoke form of leave to this cohort over that which is granted to asylum seeking children who arrive in the UK via other routes (e.g. clandestinely) who, following an assessment of their asylum claim, do not qualify for international protection in line with the 1951 Refugee Convention or humanitarian protection leave.
The Government interprets the obligations under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, due to the requirement to ‘relocate and support’ as being more akin to the requirements on the state for providing protection and support to those who are granted refugee leave in the UK. We are therefore laying Immigration Rules to create a new form of leave – ‘section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 leave’ – for those children transferred under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 who do not qualify for leave under the current Immigration Rules (either as refugees or other protection-based leave). Individuals who qualify for section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 leave will have the right to study, work, access public funds (claim benefits and housing support) and healthcare, and apply for indefinite leave to remain without paying a fee after five years.
Changes relating to family life
The following changes and clarifications are being made to the Immigration Rules relating to family life:
New indefinite leave to remain rules for ECCA workers and business persons and their dependants
The review clauses at the beginning of this Statement of Changes require the Secretary of State to review the operation and effect of all of the relevant Immigration Rules, including any rules amended or added by the changes in this Statement, and lay a report before Parliament within five years of 6 April 2017 and within every five years after that. Following each review, the Secretary of State will decide whether the relevant Immigration Rules should remain as they are, be revoked or be amended. A further Statement of Changes would be needed to revoke or amend the relevant rules.
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