UK Visas and Immigration updated Guidance and the Immigration Rules: Points-based system Tier 2
The UKVI updated the Tier 2 Guidance and the Immigration Rules for the points-based system on 11th January 2018.
The following change in the rules are applicable for those applying for indefinite leave to remain under the points-based system (Tier 1 and Tier 2 applicants).
(i) Removal of the 60-day rule when calculating continuous period in the UK
The updated guidance removes the Tier 2 rule covering gaps in employment of 60 days. The guidance provides that;
“An amendment is being made so that Tier 2 Migrants are no longer required to have been continuously employed throughout the qualifying period to be eligible for settlement. The provision is unnecessary as a Tier 2 migrant who is no longer working for their Sponsor is subject to curtailment.”
A leave can be curtailed by the Home Office to 60 days starting from the date of the decision to curtail leave is made. This implies that the migrant worker effectively has 60 days from the date of deemed service to make an application for leave in another category or find an alternative sponsor.
The above removal means that as long as the migrant worker is able to find an alternate sponsor or apply under different category within the 60 days period then the continuous residence is not considered broken for the purposes of indefinite leave to remain application.
It is worth noting that the 60 days curtailed leave is distinguished from the 60 days in the Guidance which is 60 days from the end of your employment date which is logged on the Sponsorship Management System. Therefore, the worker has 60 days to find another job or apply under another category from the curtailment letter date.
(ii) Changes to Immigration Rules 245AAA (a)(i) Calculating the 5-year continuous period in the UK
The recent changes to the Immigration Rules states that in order to eligible for indefinite leave to remain under the points-based system;
‘’ the applicant has not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days during any 12 month period in the continuous period, except that any absence from the UK for the purpose of assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis overseas shall not count towards the 180 days, if the applicant provides evidence that this was the purpose of the absence(s) and that their Sponsor, if there was one, agreed to the absence(s) for that purpose;’’
This indicates that the Home Office will take a harsher approach when calculating the 180 days absences as they can take any consecutive 12 months period within the 5-year period.
– Old Rules: If your qualifying date for indefinite leave to remain is 1st Jan 2018, under the previous rules, the Home Office would have calculated the absences from 1st Jan 2018 to 1st Jan 2017, 1st Jan 2017 to 1st Jan 2016, 1st Jan 2016 to 1st Jan 2015 etc.
– New Rules: If your qualifying date for indefinite leave to remain is 1st Jan 2018, under the current rules, the Home Office can take any consecutive 12-month period during the 5 years.
For more information on this change, please refer to our previous article: http://www.bararassociates.com/updated-guidance-indefinite-leave-remain-calculating-continuous-period-uk/
If you have any problems calculating the continuous residence or require further advice please do not hesitate to contact us.
Immigration, visa and national fees increase 2018-2019
The immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulations 2018 was laid before the Parliament on 16th March 2018.
The changes will come in force on 6th April 2018.
There will be important changes in relation to the fees and they have been outlined below:
1) Increased fees of 4% for applications under the routes strongly associated with economic growth such as worker, visitors and full-time students
2) Increased fees of 4% for settlement residence applications, registration and naturalisation as a British Citizen, other low volume routes and the majority of the premium service fees.
3) Fees for overseas, optional ‘Priority Visa’ service for entry clearance will increase by 15%. This increase aims to reduce the gap between fees for similar services offered both in and outside of the United Kingdom
4) Sponsorship licence fees will not increase for fourth year in succession for Education providers who wish to offer full-time education to overseas students and companies wishing to recruit skilled overseas workers. The fees under the sponsorship system will remain the same.
You can view the full list of the latest UK visa fees via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/691146/Gov_uk_fees_revision_2018_final.pdf
Minor changes to Tier 1 have been made in regards to the Genuine Entrepreneur Test for initial applications, such as, the Secretary of State can now make an assessment based on previous investment made in the UK by an applicant.
Since 12 November 2015, applicants who submit their application for consideration via the Premium Service Centre, can only now submit applications online, as the paper application form will be removed from the gov.uk website. The completed online application must be send off to the Home Office afterwards.
The above will also apply to Tier 2 Dependants, the paper form will be removed and substituted by the online service. In respect of Tier 1 and Tier 5 dependants, the paper format application will remain as it was.