After much discussion and deliberation immigration rule changes have come into effect overhauling the UK immigration system. Changes will be made to all tiers with some general changes to the point based system. Most of the changes will come into effect on 6 April 2012, some changes will take effect after.
Changes to Tier 1
The Tier 1 Post-Study Work route will no longer be an option for migrants seeking stay in the UK. Instead a new Tier 1 visa will be used introducing a Graduate Entrepreneur route. New provisions will also be created to allow those with Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visas or Tier 1 Post-Study Work Visas to switch to a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.
Changes to Tier 2
Tier 2 has quite drastic changes with the amount of temporary leave being limited to 6 years for Tier 2 migrants. A new minimum pay threshold of £35,000, or the going rate for the job, will also be introduced to the Tier 2 system with exceptions for jobs which require PhD’s and other jobs with shortages. Tier 2 will see a new ‘cooling off’ period where those with Tier 2 visas will have to wait 12 months after the expiry of their previous visa before they can apply for a new visa under Tier 2.
Changes to Tier 4
Tighter restrictions will be placed on students in work placements and limits will be placed on the time spent studying at degree level.
Changes to Tier 5
Temporary workers will experience a limit of 12 months on their stay in the UK affecting interns, those on work experience and youth exchange programmes.
Changes to the point based system
Curtailment will be made mandatory in Tier 2, 4 and 5 where a migrant has failed to start or ceased to start work or study with their sponsor. The curtailment threshold will also be amended from 6 months to 60 days. There will also be an increase in the funds for maintenance requirements applying to all routes in the immigration system.
What should you do
These changes will have a major affect on the UK immigration system, as a result matters can become quite complex. This is why it is imperative you seek legal advice and instruct specialist immigration lawyers. Immigration and Visa Solicitors can assist your with your applications for any form of leave to remain (or for entry clearance) at the outset and help you comply with the strict requirements of the UKBA requirements, thereby eliminating the stress caused in submitting such applications. Our team of experienced and professional solicitors will be able to guide you through the process step by step and eliminate the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law.
Our Immigration Experts are able to give specialist legal information and advice in this area of law. To contact one of our Solicitors or Barristers please click here to complete a legal case assessment or telephone 0845 8622 529.