UK Immigration Update: Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules December 2018

On Tuesday, the latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC1779 was published. The key changes in this UK immigration update are in relation to the pilot short-term seasonal agriculture scheme, indefinite leave to remain for victims of domestic violence by refugees and Tier 2 and Tier 5 workers. Before making a UK visa application to the Home Office, Applicants should first consult with an immigration specialist, such as our Immigration Team and fully qualified Immigration Solicitors, to ensure all of the most up to date rules and requirements are met.

UK Immigration Update: Seasonal Agriculture Pilot Scheme

First mentioned earlier this year, this pilot scheme will allow non-EEA migrant workers to come to the UK to undertake seasonal employment in the edible horticulture sector. This is because there is a shortage of labour in the farming industry during peak production periods; which is only set to worsen after Brexit. According to the Home Office’s explanatory memorandum, there is currently still no formal date of implementation for this scheme and further details will be announced in due course.

UK Immigration Update: Settlement for Victims of Domestic Violence

There are special provisions that mean victims of domestic violence who have leave to remain in the UK on the basis of their marriage or relationship to a British or settled person but that relationship has subsequently broken down due to domestic abuse, can be granted discretionary settlement (or “indefinite leave to remain”) in the UK. Following the case of A v Secretary of State for the Home Department, which ruled that the definition of “settled person” should be broadened as to include individuals with refugee status for the purpose of domestic abuse policy, this change will be reflected in the Immigration Rules from next January.

UK Immigration Update: Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsored Workers

The recent UK immigration update also included a number of changes relating to sponsored workers under the Tier 2 and Tier 5 Points Based System (“PBS”) route.

Tier 2 Workers

Tier 2 of the PBS allows skilled migrant workers to come and work in the UK for a licenced company who is listed on the official Home Office Register of Sponsors. Some of the key changes relating to Tier 2 of the PBS include:

  • Tier 2 (ICT) migrants will be required to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (“ATAS”) certificate if they intend to study a postgraduate degree in certain sensitive subjects;
  • The Immigration Rules will reference the appropriate salary for nurses and midwives who are undertaking the Observed Structured Clinical Examination (“OSCE”) in order to obtain Nursery and Midwifery Council registration; and
  • In relation to the Resident Labour market Test, all references to ‘Universal Jobmatch’ will now be removed as this was replaced by the ‘Find a Job’ service on 14 May 2018.

Tier 5 Workers

Tier 5 of the PBS allows short-term temporary workers to come to the UK for work. However, this is on a temporary basis and there is no route to settlement under this category. The main change in relation to the Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa is the introduction of the “Cooling off Period” for Charity and Religious Workers. This means that, as with the Tier 2 category, Charity and Religious Workers will have to spend a minimum of 12 months outside of the UK before returning. This is to prevent migrants from abusing the Tier 5 visa route as it had become apparent that Religious Workers were coming to the UK and actually filling the role of Minister of Religion, which is considered under the Tier 2 category. This main difference is that under the Tier 5 route for Religious Workers, there is no English language requirement; unlike under the Tier 2 category.

These changes should take effect on 10 January 2019.

You can access the full Statement of Changes and Explanatory Memorandum here: Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC1779 11 December 2018 | LEXVISA Immigration Solicitors London & Explanatory Memorandum to the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC1779 11 December 2018 | LEXVISA Immigration Solicitors London

Using Legal Representation to submit a UK Visa Application following the recent UK Immigration Update

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 UK Immigration Update

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.

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