CHANGES TO THE UK IMMIGRATION RULES

Some of the changes to the UK Immigration Rules:

The Tier 1 visa route

Applicants will be asked to provide more documentation when applying for, or extending, this type of visa. This will also be the case for any application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) made under the Tier 1 category.

The amount of documentation required from Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicants will be reduced for those applying using funds which are provided by a trusted source, e.g. UK Seed Funding Competitions or UK government departments.

The endorsements necessary to becoming eligible to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa are being slightly altered by Tech City UK.

The Tier 2 visa route

The changes being made to this route focus on the monthly allocation system of restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS). These are electronic documents essential to the hiring of non-EEA employees by UK businesses and are allocated to UK sponsors, according to their requirements, at the beginning of each calendar month.

The government has decided not to increase the 20,700 annual allocation of available restricted CoS for the year ending April 2017, despite the chaos caused by a shortage last June.

In order to prevent a similar disaster from happening over the coming year, however, the Home Office has revised the monthly quota of restricted CoS available for allocation in order to better reflect the seasonal demand for places. There will, for example, be a high number of restricted coS available to UK sponsors during the busier summer months and a lower quota during the winter months.

The government will not be increasing the salary requirements for this visa category .These will instead be reviewed later this year as part of the government’s response to recommendations made by the MAC’s report this January.

The minimum salary threshold for those applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain on a Tier 2 visa will increase to £35,000.

The Tier 4 visa route

No major changes are being made to this route; however Tier 4 applicants would do well to take note of the following amendments:

In order to ensure that Tier 4 students extend their visa in order to progress academically whilst in the UK, the rules now make it absolutely clear that a Tier 4 student visa holder is unable to extend his/her visa on the premise of studying a course at a lower level than the previous course for which they were granted leave to enter the UK.

Students applying for leave to remain under Tier 4 as a student union sabbatical officer, a postgraduate doctor, or a dentist on a recognised foundation programme will now only need to evidence two months’ worth of funds.

The Tier 5 visa route

This route caters for youth mobility and temporary workers coming primarily for non-economic purposes. The changes to this category are not extensive and focus on the clarification of existing rules.

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