The Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC1078, in effect from 6 April 2017, is the Home Office’s latest business Immigration Rules update. The rationale behind the Statement of Changes is to provide clarity to existing requirements for Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 visa applications, as well as make some minor amendments. Whilst the Statement of Changes is supplemented by an explanatory memorandum, successful applications will still require thorough knowledge of the Immigration Rules.
Business Immigration Rules Update for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa Applicants
The latest business Immigration Rules update set out in the Statement of Changes has given a clearer definition of “invested” funds in order to provide clarity to applicants, as well as the removal of references to HM Revenue and Customs documentation in light of self-assessment and self-employment.
A minor change has also meant that the time for applicants to respond to requests for further information is now 28 working days as opposed to the 28 calendar days it was previously, and the latest business Immigration Rules update has ensured that the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route is consistent with other categories in this respect.
A positive announcement for Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs is that the Secretary of State may allocate additional places to endorsing bodies by ad hoc request throughout the remainder year, rather than at a fixed point (30 September).
Business Immigration Rules Update for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders and Tier 2 Visa Applicants
The changes to the Tier 2 category will have an impact on businesses which are Tier 2 sponsors. Annual updates are being made to the salary thresholds for experienced workers for the majority of new applicants and for indefinite leave to remain applications. The salary threshold for experienced workers under the Tier 2 category has increased to £30,000, or the ‘appropriate rate’ if that is higher. This is partly to encourage businesses to reduce their reliance on migrant workers. This part of the business Immigration Rules update is based on the independent advice of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
Business Immigration Rules Update for Tier 4 Sponsor Licence Holders
An applicant who is being sponsored entirely by a Government or international scholarship agency by means of an award which covers both fees and maintenance must now provide the unconditional written consent of the Sponsoring Government or agency and the specified documents that are set out in paragraph 245A.
Additionally, the latest business Immigration Rules update states that loan funds for maintenance purposes are now to be paid directly to the educational institution in the UK, with the living costs portion to be given either prior to or on arrival to the UK. The reasoning for this is because loans paid directly to educational institutions are deemed to provide sufficient security and evidence that the student has the requisite means to support themselves while studying in the UK.
Business Immigration Rules Update for Tier 5 Visa Applicants
The Immigration Rules update also includes amendments in order to clarify the maximum grant periods for tier 5 temporary workers. There are requirements for sponsors of creative workers in the Creative and Sporting sub-category to comply with a recruitment code of practice, or take into account the needs of the resident labour market. This will be waived for creative sector jobs which appear on the Shortage Occupation List.
As well as the changes noted above, the business Immigration Rules update will affect all the Points-Based System routes, with a new Regulated Qualifications Framework to be referred to instead of the current National Qualifications Framework, and the bank statements of certain Indian banks being deemed acceptable.
The full Statement of Changes can be found at: Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules LEXVISA Solicitors.
The Memorandum to the Statement of Changes can be found at: Memorandum to the Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules LEXVISA Solicitors.
Using Legal Representation for Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 Visa Applicants
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 Applicants
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.