UK Announces Major Amendments To Immigration Rules

13 Mar 2015


Immigration News

With an intention to ease and streamline the UK immigration rules for employers and other individuals, the UKVI has recently announced some major amendments to its immigration policy.

Mainly, reforms are subsumed in business visit rules and application fee. The amendments to the visitor Rules will come into effective on 24 April 2015 that would impact business visits. The amendments would ease the access of employers and other eligible, individuals in one location.  Under the new reforms there would be more flexibility for business visitors to undertake the activities. 

At present there are 15 visitor visas types which will be minimized to four. The basic two visa types that should be known for the employers are: the Visitor (Standard) type and Visitor for Permitted Paid Engagements type.

The present Business Visitor type would be included together with other current visitor types into the Visitor (Standard) type. This wider type would enable more flexibility in terms of what business travelers can perform. Any individual in the standard type will be able to perform any activities allowed by this broader "Standard" type.

According to the new amendments to Visitor Rules, visitors can perform various activities that are permitted if they are intending to host a business traveler. Some of the new permitted activities will be added to the current activities list such as; business travelers can do minor unpaid volunteering for a period up to 30 days for charity, and overseas trainers are permitted to train UK-based workers of a multinational firms in some situations. UK-based businesses that are not corporate entities may offer training to foreign travelers on work practices that are required for their job overseas in some situation. Foreign lawyers can direct UK client on global transactions as well as lawsuits.

Under the new Rules, further UK business might be urged to provide a written agreeing to sustain and accommodate their business travelers. Even student visitors would be rebranded as temporary study routes as well as will form a part of UK Tier 4 Points Based-System.

Amendments are also declared for the permitted paid engagement Visitor type. This visa type enables specific people to arrive to the UK for a period up to one month for certain purposes which includes academics, lawyers, lecturers, entertainers, artists, sports persons and musicians.

Effective 6 April 2015, UK home office also planned to hike the Tier 2 minimum salary thresholds as well as escalate the salary rates specified in some of the existing codes of practice.

Following the assessment by the Migration Advisory Committee, the scarcity occupation list would be amended.

The complete immigration cap that applies to the UK Tier 2 General sponsorship applications remains same for New Year starting 6 April 2015 with 20,700 spaces for the UK for the year.

Amendments are also announced to UK tier 1 general and UK tier 1 investor. From 6 April 2015, the Tier 1 General visa route would close to extension applications as well as Tier 1 (General) migrants will not permitted to move into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category except if they has already set up a UK business prior to 6 April 2015 or he or she has financial support from a government department or authorized seed subsidy competition. Until 6 April 2018, Migrants holding tier 1 (General) visa will have time to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, following which they are no longer be allowed.

In line with the new rules the age of applicants for Tier 1 (investors) has increased to 18 and all potential tier1 investors are required to open UK-regulated investment account prior to making first application. This would make sure that UK banks perform due prior to they apply to arrive to the UK. After, Tier 1 (Investors) application is granted, the candidate would required to uphold all funds within investment portfolios. 

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