This week the government laid further changes to the Immigration Rules before Parliament. We set out below some of the key changes.
- Returning Residents: Changes have been made to clarify the distinction between those who have been absent from the UK for less than 2 years and so retain their indefinite leave status, from those whose indefinite leave has lapsed due to an absence of more than 2 years. Those in the latter category must now apply for entry clearance and demonstrate they have strong ties to the UK in order to be issued indefinite leave to enter.
Tier 2: A change is being made to expand the restriction on Tier 2 migrants holding more than 10% of shares in their sponsor so as also to restrict such ownership being held indirectly, such as via another corporate entity. In addition, a change is being made to the evidential requirements for Tier 2 migrants applying for settlement, who have been absent from work on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave. These applicants are additionally required to provide evidence of the underlying adoption or birth that necessitated their leave.
Family Life: A change is being made to require an adopted child with limited leave under the family Immigration Rules and who is aged 18 years or above, to meet a Knowledge of Language and Life requirement before being eligible to apply for settlement.
- Doctors & Nurses: A change is being made to exempt doctors and nurses from the immigration cap: More details here.
- Windrush: Amendments have been made to the Immigration Rules to assist those affected by Windrush.
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur): Clarification has been provided as to where letters from legal representatives confirming signatures are required and a provision for accountants to confirm that investment has been made on an applicant’s behalf has been restored.
- Tier 1 (Investor): A change is being made to clarify that, while applicants may withdraw interest and dividend payments generated by their qualifying investments from their portfolios, they may not do so if these were generated before the applicant purchased the portfolio.In addition a technical change is being made to require financial institutions to confirm that the invested funds have only been invested in qualifying investments,and that no loan has been secured against those funds, thereby placing a further obligation on financial firms to scrutinise the suitability of applicants’ investments, in addition to their own due diligence.