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

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 28 Dec 2016 | 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 I received indefinite leave to remain in dec 2014. can i apply for neutralisation to become a British citizen
cc26 - 28-Dec-16 @ 5:19 PM
Hi came to uk as illigal entrant on 02/02/2010 and 03/02/2010 I been to Croydon office for asylum. They put my application in fast tract and detained me for as illigal entrant. After one week they refuse my application and they release me after 10 days. But court give me refugy status. Do I have to 10 years or can apply after 6 years completion.
Zara - 9-Nov-16 @ 9:36 PM
Hi I got indefinite leave to remain in 2011 and met the Language requirement by doing a esol speaking and listening course and exam by edexcell. They are currently not on the list of approved selt providers or b1 exam but .gov website says for citizenship past language requirement exams will be valid? I know I have to do life in uk test but can someone confirm if I am excerpt from doing another selt exam which is a waste of money thanks in advance
Tissem - 11-Oct-16 @ 10:14 PM
Sap - Your Question:
hi i have been in the uk from 9/9/2006. Since 2014 as student(tier4).then I have a daughter who was born in the uk and will be 7 years old in 24/7/2017.so my lawyer advised me to claim asylum until my daughter is 7.so me and my family claimed asylum on 20 of august 2015.my case have not reach the interview level yet even after 3 month from claiming.if anyone can advice me will it be successful when apply for visa for parent of a child(7 years old in the uk) when my daughter reach 7thank you

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot estimate time limits when you will have a decision. You can see more about the different stages of the process via the Asylum Aid link here.
AboutImmigration - 6-Oct-16 @ 11:20 AM
hi i have been in the uk from 9/9/2006. Since 2014 as student(tier4).then I have a daughter who was born in the uk and will be 7 years old in 24/7/2017 .so my lawyer advised me to claim asylum until my daughter is 7.so me and my family claimed asylum on 20 of august 2015.my case have not reach the interview level yet even after 3 month from claiming.if anyone can advice me will it be successful when apply for visa for parent of a child(7 years old in the uk) when my daughter reach 7 thank you
Sap - 5-Oct-16 @ 1:54 PM
Hi I entered UK in October 2000, I was allowed to work until 2003' then my asylum application refused and my permission to work revoked. I started reporting every month until I get my ILR in 2011. I was wandered if I apply for citizenship now would it be refused under new good character law? Thanks
Sergio - 2-Oct-16 @ 12:03 AM
I came to UK by lorry on 2013 and claimed asylum seeker at the same year and got my Refugee leave to remain visa for 5 years on 2013. Due tothe new changes from Home office and my special situation , am i still eligible to apply for my citizenship after a year from my indefinite leave to remain visa period or I have to wait 10 years for my citizenship due to the new regulations?
Mlang - 13-Aug-16 @ 6:28 PM
I came into the UK in 2008 on one year student visa which was extended one year later. In 2010 I was refused the visa and I than applied for asylum in 2012 I was granted 5 years refugee status the same year ( 2012). I got married to a British citizen in 2014 and we now have a one year boy who is also a British Citizen. My 5 years refugee leave is due to expire in August 2017. Could you advise on what steps I should take. Shall I apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remainor can I apply for naturalization?
carly - 12-Aug-16 @ 2:33 AM
Hi, can I renew my Tier 2 visa if I have bee declared bankrupt in my home country?
M - 7-Aug-16 @ 9:53 PM
Miha - Your Question:
Hi, I am a EU citizen (Romanian) and I have a Romanian passport. I have been living in the UK with my British partner (now my husband) since 2012. My Romanian passport will expire in April 2017. As I just got married I would like to know what the steps are in order to obtain a British Citizenship followed by a British passport? Would I need to complete the Life in the UK test or any other examinations?

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which should help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 3-Aug-16 @ 12:09 PM
Hi, I am a EU citizen (Romanian) and I have a Romanian passport. I have been living in the UK with my British partner (now my husband) since 2012. My Romanian passport will expire in April 2017.As I just got married I would like to know what the steps are in order to obtain a British Citizenship followed by a British passport? Would I need to complete the Life in the UK test or any other examinations?
Miha - 2-Aug-16 @ 3:56 PM
Tripleaaa - Your Question:
Hi. I am a British citizen married(in Brazil) to a Brazilian/Italian citizen. We have two young girls who were born in Brazil but have their British passports. We have just returned from living in Brazil for 3 years and are here to live for good in the UK. What is the best way for my wife to get her British passport- as a wife or as a mother of dependent children? We have been married for nearly 6 years.

Our Response:
Please see the gov.uk link here which will give you more information.
AboutImmigration - 20-Jul-16 @ 11:51 AM
Hi. I am a British citizen married(in Brazil) to a Brazilian/Italian citizen. We have two young girls who were born in Brazil but have their British passports. We have just returned from living in Brazil for 3 years and are here to live for good in the UK. What is the best way for my wife to get her British passport- as a wife or as a mother of dependent children? We have been married for nearly 6 years.
Tripleaaa - 19-Jul-16 @ 1:57 PM
Hi, My Dad came to the UK in 1969 and got his work permit from the Home Office after working in the Hospitals for 4 years.He then went self employed.He then left the UK and went back to Italy.He then came back in 1983 as self employed with his Italian wife and two young children. Both my parents set up two business and have lived in the UK ever since.English is our first language and Italian is second.I did my whole school life in the British Education system and I have always worked and live in the UK. My question is, are both me and my brother entitled to indefinite to stay or even British citizenship?
Dudda - 11-Jul-16 @ 4:22 PM
hi i have come to uk on a multi entry tourist visa and my girlfriend wants to marry me. she is a british passport holder. after marriage do i qualify for british ILR or i need to exit and she will apply for me and then i can come back. please advise urgent
vman - 10-Jul-16 @ 12:33 AM
I was given ILR in 2009 and I want to put in for my UK citizenship, am I illegible to apply.
JC - 30-Jun-16 @ 6:00 PM
JP - Your Question:
I have lived in the UK since 194 , working full time. EU passport FrenchDo I still need to apply for residency card before applying for British citizenship? I have a 9 years old daughter borned in France.

Our Response:
Until Article 50 is triggered, everything will stay pretty much the same with regards to EU laws for the time being. So, you would have that option, yes.
AboutImmigration - 29-Jun-16 @ 1:46 PM
I have lived in the UK since194 , working full time. EU passport French Do I still need to apply for residency card before applying for British citizenship? I have a 9 years old daughter borned in France .
JP - 28-Jun-16 @ 5:10 PM
Richie - Your Question:
Hiya, my wife was born in the USA (American father, British mum, American birth certificate) and has been over here since she was 2 ( over 40 years) and married to me for 25 years (British). Would she be able to apply for a passport or would she have to go through the naturalisation process. She has not been able to pass employment checks because she cannot prove citizenship. Thanks.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk UK link here which should point you in the right direction.
AboutImmigration - 19-May-16 @ 11:44 AM
Hiya, my wife was born in the USA (American father, British mum, American birth certificate) and has been over here since she was 2 ( over 40 years) and married to me for 25 years (British). Would she be able to apply for a passport or would she have to go through the naturalisation process. She has not been able to pass employment checks because she cannot prove citizenship. Thanks.
Richie - 18-May-16 @ 4:26 PM
Hi my partner has been in the UK from 2007 he was granted 5 years documentto Live in the UK and then it expired and he applied and was given leave to remain in the UK he wants to apply for British citizenship but he's a bit confused because people keep telling him he can apply after 10 years can some one give me some advice
Danni - 30-Mar-16 @ 11:21 PM
Hi I have been refused British citizenship on the bases of 'good character' that I came in UK on a visitors visa in December 2005 as a minor 17 years of age and claimed asylum in May 2006 when I was then 18 years. The HO suggested that I need to apply for my British citizenship in May 2016 which is 10 years officially being in UK without breaching the immigration rule. However I find it a bit shocking because I'm only left with April only one month left then May it's 10 years but on the 23rd of March HO refused my citizenship application (I'm sure HO could have just kept my application until May) but it was rejected. Now need help as to how I can apply for the Nationality Reconsideration ASAPand will I be granted British Citizenship or?
Samie - 25-Mar-16 @ 2:44 AM
Hello I just want to know how many months it will take to get the result for discretionary leave to remain? And we got married for almost 2 months only is there any chance to grand my visa?
Jen - 3-Mar-16 @ 8:24 PM
Hi, I got married with British husband for more than 4 years in EEA country, move to UK on temporary visa, living more than 1 year in UK, can I apply for Indefinite leave to remain ? Thank you for your advice.
Julia - 26-Feb-16 @ 8:16 PM
I would like to know if my daughter was born abroad and we lostherpassport we can send just the birth certificate document for naturalisation aplication or travel paper from consulat ?We are not British but we want to do the application in the same time. We are UE citezen. My daughter is 16 years old and we are residents from 2007 . Please let me knowkind of what documentswe need to send in application form for our daughter. Any information will be very helpful. Thank you.
Katy - 19-Feb-16 @ 11:23 AM
Hi, my husband arrived in the uk in 2010. I have had to apply for extensions for him to prepare for the B1 test, which he passed last year. I plan to apply forILR as soon as he passes his life in the uk test. Do the new changesapply to him. I have been attempting to learn about the changes but have found them confusing. i have read the changes apply to those who were tier 2 on or after Apr 2011? Can you please clarify and simplify this for me in plain english. would this apply to both the english test and earnings threshold Many Thanks in advance
Tabiesha - 8-Feb-16 @ 1:13 PM
Hello, I married my good friend whom I had known for a long time whilst I was on a tourist visa in the UK after seeking clearnace from the Home Office. Now I returned to India and made an application for settlement. The ECO has refused my request on the basis that I had contrvened to immigration rule. Any advise would be appreciated
Smitha - 6-Feb-16 @ 12:20 AM
Hi, I want to apply for Naturalisation as a British Citizen (I am polish and have been continuously working since October 2008) and wanted to ask if I still need to apply for a Permanent Residence card? I thought that after 5 years of continuous work the permanent residency is being applied automatically and it takes a year for it to become valid, however, on the naturalisation form on page 12 ( paragraph 2.4) is a question asking for the permanent residency card number and date of issue. Could you please advise if I shall apply for the naturalisation and just omit this paragraph or I must apply for the permanent residency card first, then to wait a year until it becomes valid and only then I will be able to apply for the naturalisation? Many Thanks
Bea - 5-Feb-16 @ 2:07 PM
hi just wondering who can act as a referee on a passport application in case someone does not have no one professional to sign the application, is there any exceptions? these days many people knows people only professionally but not personally also can some one from different EU sign the application bearing in mind this EU referee doesn't not live in the UK. your advice is much appreciated. thanks
sam - 21-Jan-16 @ 11:29 AM
Hi There, Corrections from my previous post. I have got my ILR about 4 years ago- I am now applying for naturalization for me and my family. For my daughter who is 7 years old, requires refrees who has to GP, teacher , MP,etc.. As my was away for over 12 month , I coulnd not apply before!! I have contacted my GP to sign as a referee and he refused to sign as he said he knows only as a patient. Also , school which she goes to refesused stating that they cannot ... Health visitor came to my house in first two weeks when my daughter was born and since then we don't have any contact with the health visitor so there is no way to get a referee in above. Any ideas if there is some one else who can act as a referee. I'm getting mine is done by my friend who is currently managing director of a company. Can I also get my child same referees as mine .. as unable to find and GP, Teachers... dont know any MP in my area. Do they really care for child who is not even 7? Will application be rejected if I get refrees as mine ( 1st Director of a limited company and 2nd UK resident passport holder). Regards Shev
Shev - 14-Jan-16 @ 6:45 PM
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