Last week, the latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC1534 was published by the Home Office. The Statement of Changes sets out the specific changes to the Immigration Rules on given dates. The changes are set to begin taking effect from as early as 1 November 2018. Before making a UK visa application under the Immigration Rules, Applicants should first consult with an immigration specialist, such as our Immigration Team and fully qualified Immigration Solicitors.
Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: Changes to the EU Settlement Scheme
Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules came into force on 28 August 2018 which sets out the proposed provisions for EEA nationals and their family members in the UK post-Brexit. One of the main aspects included in the Statement of Changes is a provision for Applicants to request an Administrative Review of a decision:
(i) to refuse them leave under the EU Settlement Scheme on eligibility grounds, or
(ii) to grant them limited leave to remain under the scheme rather than indefinite leave to remain.
The Administrative Review will be able to consider any information and evidence submitted with the application for the review, including information and evidence that was not put before the original decision-maker. The current Administrative Review fee of £80 will apply.
The Statement of Changes also covers the second phase of the EEA Settlement Scheme, particularly focusing on:
- How EEA nationals and their non-EEA family members will be required to prove their identity (i.e. passport of biometrics resident permit) with the ‘identity verification app’. The app will check the ID document remotely, and will then be integrated into the online application form; and
- Amendments to bring in line the basis those family members of British citizens who have returned to the UK having exercised their Treaty Rights in other EU member states will be eligible to apply for status under the EEA Settlement Scheme in the same way that the family members of EEA nationals will.
Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: Changes to Knowledge of Language and/or Life in the UK (KoLL) requirements
The recent Statement of Changes provides clarity on what is expected of someone requesting an exemption from the KoLL requirement for settlement applications, on the basis of medical grounds. This is in order to reduce the potential for abuse and exploitation by requiring those who are applying for the exemption to provide evidence by a relevant and specified type of medical professional. The specified medical professional must not be the primary care provider i.e. the Applicant’s GP.
The UK Government also expects that this change will also improve customer service by reducing the need for multiple write-out requests by caseworkers seeking documents required for KoLL exemption requests.
Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: Application Changes and Fee Waiver
The Statement of Changes also sets out the Home Office’s ambition that most UK Visa Applicants will be able to apply online, with assisted digital support where necessary. A process will also remain for receiving applications on paper for routes where there is no online application form. Further, the requirements for making a valid application under the new application process in relation to the Applicant booking an appointment to attend in person to enrol their biometrics and submitting the required documents in support of their application has also been mentioned.
The position of Applicants seeking a fee waiver as part of an online application for leave to remain has also been reaffirmed. Where a leave to remain application is made online, an Applicant who wishes to apply for a fee waiver as part of that application will have to submit that fee waiver request before the visa application, therefore the fee waiver request will be considered first. The Applicant will be notified of a decision on the request for a fee waiver, and will then have 10 working days from the date they receive this notification to submit the visa application. If the visa application is submitted within the 10 working days, then the date the application will be considered from the date the fee waiver request was submitted. This is so that the Applicant will be able to maintain continuing and valid leave in the UK. If the Applicant submits the visa application after 10 working days from the fee waiver request, then the application will likely be rejected.
You can access the full Statement of Changes and Explanatory Memorandum here: Statement-of-Changes-to-the-Immigration-Rules-HC1534 LEXVISA Solicitors and Barristers & Explanatory-memorandum-HC1534 LEXVISA Solicitors and Barristers
Using Legal Representation to submit a UK Visa Applications following the recent Statement of Changes
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 UK Visa application following the recent Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules.
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 UK Visa Applications following the recent Statement of Changes
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.