What changes have come into effect as of 28th October 2013?
From 28 October 2013, unless you are exempt, all applicants for settlement or naturalisation as a British citizen will need to meet the knowledge of language and life (KOLL) 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.
The KOLL requirement for settlement purposes
The normal expectation will be that adults (i.e. those aged 18 or over) applying for settlement, whether as a main applicant or a dependant, will be expected to meet the new KOLL requirement.This will include adult children of persons settled in the UK and adult children applying for indefinite leave as a dependant.
However, there are some circumstances where exceptions to this normal rule will apply.
The KOLL requirement for naturalisation purposes
Persons who apply for naturalisation under section 6(1) and section 6(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981 will be expected to meet the new KOLL requirement.However, there are some circumstances where exceptions to this normal rule will apply.
The Life in the UK test
There will be no changes made to the Life in the UK test.
The Life in theUK test is a computer-based, multiple choice test. It will continue to be available through the network of test centres operated by learn direct on behalf of the Home Office.
Case Update: MM & Others v SSHD (income level for spouses):
An appeal to the First Tier tribunal, which has since escalated to the Court of Appeal, regarding the requirement for British national to earn at least £18,600 per annum in order to bring their non EEA spouse or partner to the UK.
The case is to be heard in the Court of Appeal between 3rd and 5th March 2014.Once heard we envisage a wait of at least 3-6 months for a determination and for the Home Office to amend any rules in line with the determination, if necessary.
Upcoming Changes to be Aware of;
The UK Border Agency is due to make further changes through the year.These will include;
- 1. CLOSURE OF TIER 1 (GENERAL) EXTENSIONS
The Tier 1 (General) extension applications being closed.
This will mean Tier 1 (General) migrants will no longer be able to extend their current leave to remain. This will more than likely affect migrantseligibility to apply for ILR and we strongly advise migrants to keep in contact with us until confirmed actions have been published by the Home Office.
- 2. NEW IMMIGRATION BILL
There has also been a new Immigration Bill laid before Parliament.
The Bill has received wide scale criticism for being extremely harsh.
The Bill proposes to, amongst other proposed changes;
– Provide a single power to remove
– Enlarge the States power to record and use biometrics
– Significant changes to appealable decisions and grounds of appeal
– Dictates how the Tribunals should assess proportionality under Article 8
– Making it unlawful for landlords to rent to individuals who should have a visa and who do not.
– Stop individuals who should have a visa and do not from opening bank or building society accounts.
If you are concerned about upcoming changes and the possibility of their effect on your immigration status please call the office on 01793 836 010 and one of the Immigration Consultants will be able to conduct an assessment for you.
If you have a corporate or private UK immigration matter which you would like to discuss, please contact our office on 01793 836 010 and we will be able to assist you further.