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

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 12 Dec 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]
Hello my daughter from UK recently married a Australian and she now lives in Australia on a marriage visa. However she wants to just come home for 6 months with her husband and their expected baby (due to be born in Australia in Feb 2017). But he wanted to work while in the UK and not just holiday, he's under 30 years old but would have a dependant so can't come over on a 'under 30' work/travel visa. Could I sponsor them as their parent in some way as they will be living with me for the 6 month period in the UK, I could also employ him for the 6 month term they do have finances and earn over the threshold but in Australia. what is the best option for them?
Dawn D - 12-Dec-17 @ 2:22 PM
Hi I come to uk in 2007 and claimed asylum I been refused abut 2 time and now I'm separated from my husband and I have claimed domestic violence from March this no answer I have 6 years old son soo I want too know how long it takes to answer and one more thing I'm from Pakistan so can I apply new 5 years rule for my son thanks
Fazi - 7-Dec-17 @ 2:05 PM
I came from India with my parents when I was 10. The immigration team cane to house and took our fingerprint and told my parents to go to Solihull every week or so Are they any chance we can get a the citenship of uk
Jack - 10-Nov-17 @ 6:39 PM
I lived in the UK since 1998 - came for MSc studies and worked in London since then. I formed a ltd company since 2009 and have been paying taxes etc since then - in 2011 had to go to Switzerland for contract work and came back in June 2016. Now I live and work here. Can I apply for British passport?
Lida - 25-Oct-17 @ 10:16 AM
RS - Your Question:
Hi I got a spouse visa in 2012 and got married here to my British wife. I want to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Do I have to pass the life in the uk test? I have been here for 5 years. Is there anyway out of doing the test?

Our Response:
You don’t need to take the test if you: are under 18 or over 65, have passed it before - for example, if you’re applying to become a citizen and already passed it as part of your settlement application. Or you have a long-term physical or mental condition, in which case you must provide either a form or letter from a doctor confirming your physical or mental condition.
AboutImmigration - 13-Oct-17 @ 11:22 AM
Hi I got a spouse visa in 2012 and got married here to my British wife. I want to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Do I have to pass the life in the uk test? I have been here for 5 years. Is there anyway out of doing the test?
RS - 7-Oct-17 @ 5:57 PM
Hi please I need some advice from you I came to England in 2012 under dependant under my mother's name who is a British citizen in the uk . Can I apply for nationalization next year since I have indefinite leave to remain in the uk permanently.Thanks.
Vicksn - 6-Sep-17 @ 9:11 PM
Hi there I need same help I come to UK in 2005 illegal I never registered or anything I was married to EU nationality in a UK Before I got married I ask home office The give me the right to get married in uk I got my 5 years visa Than now I hold permanent residence for 1 year I like to apply for British passport Can I I live in the UK work full time Not spent much time out of UK No crimenal record at all The only thing is coming to UK illegal in 2005 Same how but immegrationdont know Thanks Saimir
Samir - 4-Aug-17 @ 12:57 PM
Been battling with my childs health since birth from kidney cyst to a now diagnosed ASD and was refused FLR even before her diagnosis. Was previously on FLR visa and now awaiting appeal without a job. Pls needing advice on step to follow and any changes that can affect our applications?
Emi - 31-Jul-17 @ 3:16 PM
My husband recieved his full UKcitizenship last July, we want both his children from a previous relationship to come from jamaica and live here with us, their mother is more than happy for them both to live in the Uk, do we have to apply for visas for the children or can we just apply straight for uk citizenship for them both.
sisjen - 28-Jul-17 @ 4:42 PM
Im living in uk for for 18 years i got ILR since 2004and after all this years i have to pass English test sorry but this only taking money from peoplecome on guys what's going on
tony - 28-Jul-17 @ 2:18 PM
Is the UK government considering any changes to the cool-off period requirement. Also is there a chance that people under Intra-company transfer visa can be allowed to switch jobs?
ASA - 21-Jul-17 @ 2:24 AM
sleeky - Your Question:
I got a ban 2012.and thereafter I got married to a british citizen.we applied for my son british passport and it was approved. Now I want to apply for a uk visit visa to follow my son to the uk to visit his father.what are my chances of my visas been approved?

Our Response:
Much depends upon why you were given a re-entry ban and how long the ban lasts. You can see more via the gov.uk link here which will tell you how long your ban should last and whether you can reapply.
AboutImmigration - 14-Jul-17 @ 12:27 PM
I'm married to a UK citizen and I have a settlement visa, and I've fulfilled the 3-year residency and other requirements for citizenship, but I have never worked or paid taxes while living in England. Will that be a problem?
mike - 14-Jul-17 @ 1:51 AM
I got a ban 2012..and thereafter i got married to a british citizen.we applied for my son british passport and it was approved. Now i want to apply for a uk visit visa to follow my son to the uk to visit his father...what are my chances of my visas been approved?
sleeky - 13-Jul-17 @ 8:37 PM
@Rob why not just apply to register your child as a British citizen based on your naturalised status.
TJ. - 11-Jul-17 @ 3:16 PM
I am a british citizen by naturalisation and my wife is spanish and my son has european family residency.What form should i download to get my son under me as british rather than my wife european family member please?
Rob - 8-Jul-17 @ 3:52 PM
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
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