Changes to the Immigration Rules are being made today, 11 January 2018. There are a number of changes that will be of importance to employers who sponsor migrants under the UK’s points-based system, and to sponsored employees, including:
- Flexibility is being introduced to enable students to apply to switch to Tier 2 as soon as they have completed their courses of study. Previously non-PhD students could not apply to switch within the UK until they had received their final results.
- Removal of the strict requirement for Tier 2 visa holders to have been continuously employed in the UK throughout a “qualifying period” in order to be eligible for indefinite leave to remain (“ILR”)/settlement.
- The extension to partners of points-based system migrants of the requirement to have had absences from the UK of no more than 180 days per year in order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain(“ILR”)/settlement. This requirement previously applied only to the main applicant/visa holder.
- The number of available places for the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa category being doubled to 2,000 per year. The additional places will form a pool from Designated Competent Bodies can draw, on a first-come first-served basis, once they have used up their allocation. Individuals endorsed as ‘world leaders’ under this category will also be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after three years’ qualifying residence, rather than the usual five.
For further information on this topic, please contact Phillip using the details below.