UKBA Update: Changes to UK Immigration Rules & SME Support Pilot Scheme Launched

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.
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