Legislation was laid in Parliament on 7 December 2017, which sets out a number of changes to the immigration rules. These will come into effect from 28 December 2017, with most of the changes taking effect on 11 January 2018.
The Home Office continue to improve and modernise the UK’s border and immigration system, which will now include moves toward further digitisation.
These changes are required to facilitate the move toward introducing immigration permissions issued in electronic rather than paper form.
This will also allow trials to be undertaken that will test the operation of any new system.
Transiting the UK
Changes are also being made which will allow standard and marriage/civil partnership visitors to transit to the UK using the same visa.
This means that visit visa customers will not have to apply for a separate transit visa. The amendments will make it easier for customers and help to reduce costs.
Skilled work visas
The Home Office are making changes to the immigration rules to enhance the UK’s offer for internationally recognised overseas leaders in science, research, digital technology and the arts. This will allow those under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route to apply for settlement after three years. They are also doubling the number of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) places to 2,000 visas per year.
In addition, the Home Office are also making changes to the Tier 2 skilled worker route. This will allow for faster switching for Tier 4 students below PhD level. By relaxing the labour market test under Tier 2, it will also make it easier to employ international researchers and members of established research teams.
All other immigration rules changes are minor and technical in nature.
If you need assistance with any UK Immigration matter or visa application, please contact our offices on 01793 836010.