This Autumn, changes were made to the UK’s current immigration rules which introduced a requirement for high net worth clients, namely, Tier 1 Investor and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applicants to produce an overseas criminal record certificate. From 1 September 2015, if you are applying for entry clearance as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur or Tier 1 Investor, or as an adult dependant (over 18 years old) of the main applicant in these routes, you must provide an overseas criminal record certificate for any country you have resided in continuously for 12 months or more, in the 10 years prior to your application.
In addition to this, the Home Office changed the operation of the Tier 2 (General) limit to maximise the number of places available each month, within the overall annual limit.
UK Tier 1 Investor and Entrepreneur Visas
The requirement for applicants to provide an overseas criminal record certificate began on the 1 September with the Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) categories. This requirement will be for Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicants as well as their adult dependents.
The change does not currently apply to in-country applicants or applicants looking to switch from one Tier group to another. The Home Office intends to apply this more widely to other applicants and will slowly introduce this into other categories.
Applicants in the Tier 1 Investor and Entrepreneur categories should make sure their applications include a criminal record certificate from every country they have lived for a period of a year or more over the past 10 years. If you fail to provide any certificates or an acceptable explanation, your application will be refused under paragraph 320 (2A) in the General Grounds for Refusal, Part 9 of the Immigration Rules. If you provide false or fraudulently obtained certificates your application will be refused. You may also be subject to a 10 year ban for any future entry clearance applications.
UK Businesses and Tier 2 Sponsors
The Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC 297 which were published on 17 September 2015 were the fourth of the year and along with changes in other categories, they have changed the requirements for Tier 2 (General) visas.
The changes to the Tier 2 skilled worker rules are designed to maximise the number of places which can be allocated each month within the annual limit of 20,700. This is good news for UK Sponsors as the monthly limit has been oversubscribed in recent months causing applications deserving of Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS) to have a high rate of refusal.
This has been implemented by increasing the number of salary bands in the current points based system. This maximises the monthly allocation of places and permits the Home Office to revoke Certificates of Sponsorship which are unused so that these unused certificates are recycled back into the 20,700 limit.
UK Immigration Advice for Tier 1 & Tier 2 Visa Applicants
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a Tier 1 Entrepreneur or Tie 1 Investor visa application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law.
We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you are a Tier 2 Sponsor or if you have had a General visa refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.