The UK Border Agency has recently made two announcements. The first is in relation to settlement and naturalisation applications and the second relates to the launch of a pilot scheme intended to provide online support to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).
Home Office Provides Support to SMEs Recruiting Migrants
Visas & Immigration (formerly part of UKBA) has joined in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and launched a 3 month pilot to provide online support to SME’s. This scheme is aimed at SME’s who need to recruit skilled international employees to help build their business and a toolkit of information has been made available through GLA’s website.
The toolkit will include a simple overview of the process of sponsoring an overseas worker, a best practice guide and some frequently asked questions with access to expert help from the Home Office for complex or queries.
Changes to Settlement & Naturalisation Requirements
From 28 October 2013, unless they are exempt, all applicants for settlement or naturalisation as a British citizen will need to meet the knowledge of language and life requirement by:
- passing the life in the UK test; and
- having a speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 CEFR or higher, or its equivalent.