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Changes to UK Immigration Rules: How will these affect you?

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 19 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Changes To Uk Immigration Rules: How Will These Affect You?

New changes have recently been announced to the UK's immigration rules. These affect all applications made after 19 November 2015 unless otherwise stated. Applications made before 19 November 2015 but which have not been concluded will be decided on the basis of the system in place at the time of application.

The main changes imposed on the UK Immigration system are outlined below.

Applying for asylum - overview

You have to apply for asylum if you want to stay in the UK as a refugee. To be eligible you must have left your home country and be unable to return due to fear of persecution (be that due to your religious beliefs, your sexual orientation or for other reasons). You must apply as soon as you arrive in the UK, or as soon as you consider it unsafe to return to your own country.

The application takes the form of:

  • 1 - An application form setting out your background and the basis of your application
  • 2 - A screening meeting with an immigration officer
  • 3 - An asylum interview with a caseworker.
During the application process you will not usually be allowed to work. You may however be allowed to live in the UK in certain circumstances, and also receiving housing and money to support you and your family.

It is important that your asylum application is truthful and accurate, as you could be deported or face up to two years in prison if you give false information in your application. If you need help with your asylum claim, you can find a regulated advisor at here, or speak to a local Citizens Advice Bureau who will be able to point you in the right direction.

Changes:

Asylum claims from EU nationals will now be invalid unless exceptional circumstances apply. This is to recognise that the UK does not consider any other EU country to be dangerous or persecute its citizens. Also, EU nationals are entitled to live in the UK as part of the free movement of EU citizens in any event.

The tier system

The UK has a points based five tier system to assess visa applications for those from outside the EU who want to come to the UK to work, train, invest or study.

The five tiers are:

  • Tier 1: Those with exceptional talent - Includes entrepreneurs, investors and those recognised as world leaders in their fields, or who have demonstrated exceptional talent and are likely to become future world leaders in their particular field.
  • Tier 2: Skilled workers - Those with particular skills that are desired to aid the UK economy such as writers, composers, artists and lawyers. All applicants under Tier 2 need a Certificate of Sponsorship from their employer to confirm that the applicant will fill a genuine vacancy in the UK that cannot be filled with a suitably qualified or skilled worker already in the UK
  • Tier 3: Low-skilled workers filling specific temporary labour shortages. Note: No visas have ever been allocated by the government under this scheme and so currently you are unable to apply under Tier 3
  • Tier 4: Students - Applicants must have a place at a registered educational establishment before they can apply.
  • Tier 5: Temporary workers - There are six sub-tiers covering sport players, charity workers, religious workers and those under the youth mobility scheme which enables approximately 55,000 young people every year to have working holidays in the UK.
In most cases, spouses and dependants will be allowed to stay in the UK with a successful applicant. Usually spouses will also be allowed to work in the UK as well as the main applicant, unless they have permission to remain in the UK for less than 12 months.

Changes:

The criteria of those who qualify under Tier 1 has been extended to include those skilled in the digital technology sector. Also nurses and four digital technology jobs have been added to the list of jobs which require filling by Tier 2 applicants.

Indefinite leave to remain

Those travelling to the UK with a Tier 1 or 2 visa may later be eligible to apply for UK permanent residence providing that they meet the permanent residence requirements at the time of their application.

Changes:

A minimum salary requirement was introduced in 2012 for Tier 2 visa holdings seeking to remain permanently. From 6 April 2016, this minimum salary will be increased to £35,000. Those seeking to rely on an English language qualification will going forwards be required to take the test in a secure setting, in an attempt to stop "test takers for hire" who seek to exploit the system.

The changes to the UK Immigration system are on the whole minor and designed to provide more clarity to the process. However given recent events making immigration such an important but also controversial issue, we can expect further restrictions to be considered by the government over the next year. We will of course keep you apprised of any further changes.

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[Add a Comment]
i cam in uk 2003 and inunder lagcy scheme 2011 i got ILR and now i want to apply for naturalisationcan i do that now
satu - 19-May-17 @ 3:57 PM
How does this affect Australians eligible for an ancestry passport?
Jmac - 19-May-17 @ 2:41 PM
I came 2008 U.K. I had limited leave to remain now I have ILR 10 years since Nov 2013 . Iam applaying NaturalisationI was claiming benefit with my partner who died I can only prove 3 years of recipient income support, but I never been away more then 30 days can I applay or do I need to wait 2 more years
Sucdina - 18-May-17 @ 12:44 AM
Hello, I have two questions please. What is the earliest date I can send my application for citizenship if 12 months since obtained permanent residence document will be in september? Does UK institutions inform EU countries institutions ( who doesn't allow dual citizenship) such as Lithuania, inform about their citizens obtaining British citizenship, or that person has to inform by themselves. ? Thank you in advance
layla kaz - 17-May-17 @ 10:54 PM
I overstayed for 33 days in 2008 and I left the country in December 2008 and returned back in 2009 with a spouse visa. Got my indefinite in 2011 but could not apply for naturalization after the next year due to overstating in 2008. Please my question is this, when can I apply for naturalization considering the fact that overstayers would have to wait 10 years before applying for naturalization.
Eshin - 15-May-17 @ 7:09 AM
I have got refugee status My cousin has got humanitarian protection Status Can someone tell me what different And which better Thanks
sam - 27-Apr-17 @ 8:11 PM
Remisamson - Your Question:
I got my my indefinite in 2016 June when can I apply for my naturalistion

Our Response:
After holding ILR for 12 months a person can apply for British Citizenship if they can satisfy the five year residency requirements.
AboutImmigration - 20-Apr-17 @ 2:02 PM
I got my my indefinite in 2016 June when can i apply for my naturalistion
Remisamson - 20-Apr-17 @ 5:27 AM
If Im syrian refugee in the uk . Can i leave it and come when ever i want
Abed - 7-Apr-17 @ 10:19 AM
Hi.I applied asylum 25th of juneury 2008 I was 17 yares old I got refused I been in uk 9 years im don't have nothing. I keep go to sings every 3 month. So what they do to this kind of people.
Jack - 7-Apr-17 @ 4:05 AM
I applied asylum 25th of juneury 2008 I was 17 yares old I got refused I been in uk 9 years im don't have nothing. I keep go to sings every 3 month. So what they do to this kind people.
Jack - 7-Apr-17 @ 4:02 AM
barakat - Your Question:
Expire , if I apply for indefinite leave to remain do I get it automatically or do I have to get the lawyer and get ready for the court

Our Response:
Much depends upon what visa class you are on and your eligibility i.e someone who is a refugee will have a more complex case than someone who is on a dependent visa such as spouse of a British citizen. Therefore, if your visa application may be more complex, you may with to seek independent immigration advice.
AboutImmigration - 3-Apr-17 @ 11:04 AM
expire , if I apply for indefinite leave to remain do I get it automatically or do I have to get the lawyer and get ready for the court
barakat - 2-Apr-17 @ 6:28 AM
I have refugee status which will be 5 years in end of august 18. How would the procedure work after 5 years, would I be getting indefinite visa and apply British passport after one year of completion on indefinite visa? Is any changes which recently made would effect my application? Please would be appreciated if you can give me some advice. Thank you for your time .
barakat - 2-Apr-17 @ 6:06 AM
I have refugee status which will be 5 years in end of June 17. How would the procedure work after 5 years, would I be getting indefinite visa and apply British passport after one year of completion on indefinite visa? Is any changes which recently made would effect my application? Please would be appreciated if you can give me some advice. Thank you for your time .
K - 27-Mar-17 @ 3:21 PM
I am 77 yrs old German citizen, now retiredwho came to UK in 1965 and married my british husband in 1971, we have been permanently resident in the uk, and I ran my own catering business for over 25 years and am receipt of a UKpension. I wish to become a British Citizen. Please advise what application form I fill up and whether I meet the criteria.My children and grandchildren are all Britsh passport holders.
ELLA - 22-Mar-17 @ 5:12 PM
none - Your Question:
I and my wife were born in Southern Rhodesia in 1936 and are now living in South Africa.Both my parents were also born in Rhodesia and my grandparents were born in England.I believe a new regulation has been passed that qualifies ex Rhodesians to become UK citizens and hold British passports.Please inform and state process required.Thank youJ R Coleman

Our Response:
You can apply for an ancestry visa if you’re a Commonwealth citizen and are able to show that one of your grandparents was born in the UK. However, you would have to intend to work or seek employment in the UK for the length of your visa. You would also have to be able to show you could support yourself and/or dependents as you would not be entitled to access to public funding, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 14-Mar-17 @ 11:27 AM
I and my wife were born in Southern Rhodesia in 1936 and are now living in South Africa. Both my parents were also born in Rhodesia and my grandparents were born in England. I believe a new regulation has been passed that qualifies ex Rhodesians to become UK citizens and hold British passports. Please inform and state process required. Thank you J R Coleman
none - 13-Mar-17 @ 12:18 PM
Hey i have got 5 years refugee residence but now it's going to expire , if I apply for indefinite leave to remine do I get it automatically or do I have to get the lawyer and get ready for the court ?
Dee - 13-Mar-17 @ 4:03 AM
Hi,can some tell me please how long the home office take time to make decision on further submission asylum thanks
Ad - 10-Mar-17 @ 9:11 PM
Sardar - Your Question:
Hi my name is Jawad sardar.i am practicing in lawyer at District courts mardan kpk pakistan as well as advocate of high court at pakistan. Here is the security threat and terrorism in my provimce.i want to move uk for permenent there. My family and me is not safe and secure here.i have been spend my life there in the year of 2007 to 09 at student visa.

Our Response:
As with every person who comes to stay, study or work in the UK, you would have to apply to a visa. You can see what visa you may be eligible to apply for via the gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 6-Mar-17 @ 10:28 AM
Hi my name is Jawad sardar.i am practicing in lawyer at District courts mardan kpk pakistan as well as advocate of high court at pakistan. Here is the security threat and terrorism in my provimce.i want to move uk for permenent there. My family and me is not safe and secure here.i have been spend my life there in the year of 2007 to 09 at student visa.
Sardar - 5-Mar-17 @ 8:33 AM
JG888888 - Your Question:
Good afternoon,I am from Poland and live in the UK since May 2016. I work here (legally), own my house and never left the UK for more than 90 days per year. Do I need to apply for a permanent residency if I don't want to apply for a British passport? Will there be any changes to the law in relation to immigrants who live in the UK for over 10 years but don't hold the UK passport? Do I really need the UK passport? Thank you.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which should answer your question fully.
AboutImmigration - 2-Mar-17 @ 12:53 PM
Good afternoon, I am from Poland and live in the UK since May 2016. I work here (legally), own my house and never left the UK for more than 90 days per year. Do I need to apply for a permanent residency if I don't want to apply for a British passport? Will there be any changes to the law in relation to immigrants who live in the UK for over 10 years but don't hold the UK passport? Do I really need the UK passport? Thank you.
JG888888 - 1-Mar-17 @ 3:16 PM
Hi I came to UK as illegal person with my vifein12/2012 and I have been granted a five years leave to remain2013 to 2018 (refugee status)do I need to wait 10 years to get the British passport?
Reza - 28-Feb-17 @ 10:39 PM
Hi, i moved to UK with my family from France in 2007 im now 21 , we all have French passport and nationality, i have lived half of my life in this country and currently studying at University now. My concern now is, will i and my family have to return back to France because of Brexit?
DeeR'nathan - 25-Feb-17 @ 10:36 AM
Hi, I have got a question and would be appreciate if anyone can answer. My wife is in Ethiopia and she recently did the IELTS Life Skills A1 test and passed but I heard IELTS Life Skills A2 is being introduced in May. I am wondering whether she need to do the new test before we sent our application or whether the IELTS Life Skills A1 certificate is enough. Thank you
Gel - 23-Feb-17 @ 9:16 PM
I want to find out whether it is possible to apply for permanent residence for my daughter because she was born in the UK and have Portuguese nationality. I am on a 5 year residence card as a family member
Beau - 20-Feb-17 @ 10:20 AM
I came to U.K as illegal person in8/2014and I have been granted a five years leave to remain (refugee status)do I need to wait 10 years to get the British passport?
Abas - 11-Feb-17 @ 7:24 PM
Hi came to uk as illigal entrant on 31/08/2008 andbeen to Croydon office for asylum. That time i was 16years They put my application in fast tract and detained me for as illigal entrant. After 2.years they refuse my applicationBut court give me refugy status.2010.2016 i had Indefinte remainDo I have wait. to 10 years or can apply after 6 years completion.?
sonic - 6-Feb-17 @ 2:45 AM
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