Rule changes in UK Immigration from January 2018

If you are one planning to migrate to UK or already living in UK as a migrant then it is always best for you to know the latest changes in UK immigration Law because any changes made affect you directly or directly. In this regard you can note that new Statement of changes was passed to the Parliament on the 7th of December 2017 in UK. These changes have come into effect from 11th of January 2018. What are those changes? They are as following:


Tier 1 Entrepreneur

 Earlier the applicant could rely on fund or investment provided by another Tier 1 entrepreneur migrant, that migrant’s business or close family member. However the latest change means that recycling of fund will not be possible. This means that Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants will not be able to base their application on funds already used by another applicant or family members. Additional details have also been provided on documentary evidence. Also the rules concerning job creation for domestic workers have been clarified.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

 Earlier the number of endorsement per year allowed in Tier 1 exceptional talent was 1000 but after recent changes the number of Tier 1 Exceptional talent allocated annually has doubled to 2000. The additional 1,000 visas will now be held separately on first come first server basis in an unallocated pool draw.

Also exceptional talent visa holders are now eligible to qualify for ILR after three years and not after 5 years which was the case earlier.

Tier 2 visa holders

Earlier the rule was that Tier 2 migrants had to be continuously employed throughout the qualifying period of 5 years in order to be eligible for settlement or Indefinite leave to remain. They were allowed breaks of employment for less than 60 days only. Now after the change Tier 2 visa holders with more than 60 days between Tier 2 employments will be eligible to apply for ILR after they complete 5 years of continuous employment in UK.

Tier 4 students switching to Tier 2

Earlier students on Tier 4 visa had to successfully pass their course in UK to be able to switch to Tier 2 sponsorship without the sponsor being required to undertake the RMLT. Now as per the new change Tier 4 students will be eligible to switch to Tier 2 once they complete their course and they don’t require now to wait until they get the final results. This rule change also allows certain part time students to secure Tier 4 visa. But they cannot hold the work right in UK and they cannot bring their dependents to UK also.

PBS visa dependents

Earlier the Point based system migrant who looked to apply for ILR were not permitted to be out of UK for more than 180 days in any duration of 12 month during the qualifying period but this rule did not apply to the dependents of PBS migrants. With new change however even the dependents of PBS migrants are now subject to 180 days requirement and this will apply to all ILR applications made after 11 January, 2018.


Earlier visitors who had a standard or marriage/civil partnership visa required a separate transit visa to transit the UK. But now they don’t need transit visa anymore to transit UK. Clarity has also been made that visitors are not permitted to study at an academy or a school maintained by a Local Authority.

Electronic Entry Clearance

This is a new trail by government to issue the entry clearance in electronic form and so there have been change in the rules regarding the format of entry clearance. After the trial is successful entry clearance issued in electronic form will be rolled out at a later date. This means people who have electronic clearance will only have to present their passport or identity documents at the UK border in order to be checked by Immigration Officer electronically for entry clearance. This electronic entry clearance will be trialed initially with a pilot group before it is implemented on wider basis.

What to do if UK sponsor license revoked

All those working migrants in UK receive a certificate of Sponsorship from their employer in order to work in that organization. The employer applies for and gets a sponsorship license in order to release certificate of sponsorship to the employees coming from outside UK. What if the UK sponsor license of the employer gets revoked?


What to do if you are an employee

 First thing that you will have to do is to leave your job and leave UK in such situation unless you apply for a new visa to stay in UK. How does it affect you depends on whether you are in UK or outside UK when the sponsorship license of your employer is revoked.

If you are in UK then your certificate of sponsorship is cancelled and the visa is limited to 60 days or however long you have left on the visa if it is less than 60 days. Unless you make a new visa application within that period you will have to leave your job and UK both. If you are the reason or you are involved in the reason why sponsor license has been revoked then you will have to leave UK immediately and your visa will be withdrawn.

If you are outside UK then you can check the status of sponsor license on the register of sponsor before you leave for UK. You will not find your sponsor listed if their sponsor license has been revoked.


What to do if you are an employer whose sponsor license has been revoked

When a company with sponsorship license fails to adhere to range of responsibilities on an ongoing basis then Home Office may downgrade, suspend or revoke their UK Sponsor license.

Below are three actions that as an organization you can take to mitigate the impact and consequences of a Tier 2 or 5 Sponsor License being revoked.

  1. Pay attention to a sponsor revocation or suspension letter

If you receive a letter from the Home Office stating that it is considering revoking your license then you must pay attention to it.  In such situation you have 20 working days from the date of the letter to respond. You must respond in writing.

Only in some exceptional circumstances the deadline may be extended by the Home Office. No hearing will take place but you may provide written statements and other evidence to support your response.

  1. You can consult professional advisors to address Home Office concerns

Points-based-system sponsorship can be extremely complex and this is why you must seek support from expert advisors.  If you fail to meet your sponsor duties and the Home Office takes notice of it, then they may set out strict criteria for you to meet to improve your HR systems.  If you fail to meet conditions set out by them, they have the discretion to downgraded or revoke your license.

  1. Be preventive

When your Tier 2 and 5 Sponsor License is revoked then it will not only affect your business but it can also lead to severe penalties for employees in your company holding a Tier 2 visa.  The Tier 2 employee’s leave could be curtailed, and if they cannot find sponsored employment with another Sponsor License holder, then they may have to leave their job and the UK.

So, in order to prevent adverse action from the Home Office, you must ensure HR systems are in order before you apply for a UK Sponsor License.  You must also maintain criteria on an ongoing basis for your HR system else your license may be revoked.

You can consult us at any point before you apply for sponsor license and after you have got the license and even when you license has been revoked for support.

Leave to Enter and Remain Under Parent Route

The Home Office established the Parent Route under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The ELTRPT section that is Eligibility Leave to Remain as a Parent is meant for adults (over 18) who have a child in the UK. The child must be settled in the UK or be a British Citizen.

If the child is living with the parent applying for leave to remain in the UK they will need to establish that they have sole custody of the child. Sole Custody can be given by court or the other parent may have passed away or nowhere to be found. The sole custody makes the person a primary carer of the child and makes all the decision in connection to the child’s upbringing.

If the parent of the child does not have sole custody then they should have a court order to show that they have direct access to the child – This can be done by way of applying for a child contact order from the family court.

Alternatively the parent may have a mutual agreement with the other parent with whom the child lives confirming that the parent applying for leave to remain in the UK has access to the children.

In any event the parent applying for leave to remain in the UK will need to evidence that they have continue to play an active role in upbringing of the child.

There is also financial requirement to be met by the parent applying under this route, however it is NOT the £18600 but rather they should be able to maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependents without recourse to public funds and overcrowding. The financial requirement can be exempted unless EX1 applied.

The applying parent should not fail under suitability requirement. If the applicant is in the UK as a visitor or with leave less than period of 6 months or less. EX 1 is applicable if the children are aged 7 years or above or a British Citizen and the applicant and the family cannot reasonably relocate.

Should you be looking into making an application for leave to enter or leave to remain as a parent of the child in the UK, please do not hesitate to contact Visa and Migration Ltd call us on 02034111261.


Staying in the UK on a Spouse Visa after a Divorce

What if you are staying in the UK on UK spouse visa with your partner’ visa and now you and your partner are going to separate? You will lose your visa status once you divorce or separate from your partner. Staying in the UK on a spouse visa after divorce will not be possible but there are other visa categories for which you can apply and stay in UK. But if you are not eligible for any other visa category then unfortunately you might have to leave UK.

UK spouse visa allows you to enter and live in UK when your partner is either a British citizen or have settled in the UK or have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK. You and your partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK after you apply. So, you are living in UK with your partner on this visa but what to do when you both decide to divorce. First thing you must do is to tell the Home Office when you are divorcing or separating from your partner if your visa is based on this relationship only. If you don’t inform the home office about the divorce then it could affect your new visa application in future. Now staying in the UK on a spouse visa after a divorce you can either apply for a new visa or leave the UK.


Visa categories to apply for after divorce


Self and parent route

Now after the divorce you can apply for other visa categories to stay in the UK if you are eligible. One of them is settling in UK on your own. First you should check the eligibility of whether you can settle in UK or not and if you can settle in the UK yourself, then this is probably the best option you can choose. Through this you will be able to stay in the UK independently from your partner. Another way of staying in UK is parent route. If you are a parent of a child who is British, settled in UK or has lived in UK for minimum 7 years then you might be eligible to live in UK by applying as a parent. Again you need to meet some eligibility requirements for this.

Work visa route

You can also switch to work visa if you are employed. Through your employer you can get a work visa in category of Tier 2 General visa. You need to get a job on the shortage occupation list. This can be a complex process but you can stay in UK through this route especially if you work for a large organization. You should talk to your employer to see if they will sponsor you. You will have stay in your job to keep this visa. After 5 years you can settle by yourself. So you should check if you are eligible to settle before you try to get a visa through your employer.

Apart from above routes you can also apply for staying in the UK on a spouse visa after a divorce based on your private life in UK if you have stayed in UK for longer time.


If the reason of divorce is domestic violence

If there is a domestic violence from your partner who is a British Citizen or person settled in UK or a member of HM forces who has served for minimum 4 years, which led to break down of your relationship, then you will usually be able to apply to settle in the UK. You should get specialist legal advice if you have faced domestic violence and you are worried that divorcing from your partner will affect your visa status.

You should note that when you were living in UK on UK spouse visa and now you are separating from your partner then to be able to apply for other visa category and stay in UK after divorce you must apply as soon as possible after the relationship breaks down.

UK visa refusal reasons for UK Visitor or Tourist visa

UK visitor visa allows you to enter and stay in UK for a short period of time. UK standard visitor visa has replaced family visitor visa, general visitor visa, business visitor visa, child visitor visa, sports visitor visa, entertainment visitor visa, prospective entrepreneur visitor visa and private medical treatment visitor visa. If you are going to UK for tourism purpose then you don’t need to apply for a separate UK tourist visa. You can apply for UK standard visitor visa for tourism purpose. You have to meet certain conditions while applying for tourism purpose to spend a holiday or to see your family and friends, failing which you will not be granted the visa.

You need to submit basic documents like your passport or other valid travel identification, document evidence that you can support yourself during your trip to UK and the cost of your onward journey, such as bank statements or payslips of the last 6 months. In addition, you must meet various other conditions based on your purpose of the visiting the UK. You can only visit the UK for a maximum of 6 months at a time under this visa. You cannot take up any paid or unpaid employment in the UK on this visa.

Now you should be careful while applying for UK visitor visa so that your visa application is not refused. For this purpose it is better if you know why your visa can be refused so that you avoid making those mistakes in advance.


Reasons why your UK visitor or tourist visa may be refused

 Supplied incorrect documents

It is very important that you supply all the correct documents needed for the visa application. Different visa categories require different set of documents as evidence to be submitted. So when you are making your application for UK Visitor visa then you should submit documents pertaining to this visa category only.

Supplied documents in the incorrect format

 Along with required documents you also need to submit the documents in correct format. You cannot just send the documents in bundles. You need to place them in correct, chronological and present exactly as required.

Specific evidence is missing in your visa application

 When you are going to UK on UK tourist visa then you must submit the evidence that you can support your expenses during the stay in UK and the cost of your onward or return journey from UK in the form of bank statements or payslips of the last 6 month failing which your visa will be refused.

 You did not seek expert advice and followed advice from friends

If you think that just reading from the Website of the Home Office or by asking from friends, it is easy for you to fill the application form correctly, provide documents which are required in required format and order then you may be wrong. You should ask the experts as they know the nitty-gritty of everything when it comes to applying for UK visa.

You did not disclose previous issues, if any

If there has been previous immigration or legal issue then don’t choose to hide the information. If there is a ban or you have spent certain criminal conviction then don’t be in the illusion that you can skip the information from Home Office. They miss nothing and question everything.

You applied for wrong type of visa

UK visitor visa is for different purpose like travel, business and other so when you are applying you need to apply for correct visa category.


However if your UK Standard Visitor Visa application is refused, then you have three avenues to pursue: You can reapply for the visa, you can appeal on human rights ground and you can challenge the decision via judicial review

Long term UK visit Visa for private medical treatment

When you go to UK to receive a private medical treatment then you need to apply for UK standard visitor visa as UK standard visitor visa has replaced several short term visa categories which include Private Medical Treatment Visitor Visa. When you apply for UK Standard visitor visa for private medical treatment then you must meet certain requirements listed below:

  1. You must be genuinely seeking entry into the UK for the purpose of receiving private medical treatment. The initial period for your treatment must not exceed six months, or 11 months, where the visitor’s medical practitioner has confirmed that the period of treatment is likely to exceed six months and provided the person has entry clearance as a visitor
  2. You must leave the UK once your treatment is completed.
  3. You must maintain and accommodate yourself and dependents if any without an access to public funds
  4. You must meet the cost of the return or onward journey
  5. You also must satisfy the medical inspector that if you have an infectious or communicable disease such as leprosy but it is not a danger to public health.
  6. You must show that any proposed course of treatment is for a limited period.
  7. You must produce satisfactory evidence of following:
  • The medical condition which requires consultation or treatment.
  • Arrangements for the consultation or treatment at your own expense.
  • The estimated costs for the consultation or treatment.
  • The possible duration of your visit to UK.
  • You have sufficient funds available in the UK to meet the estimated costs and your undertaking to do so.

Like all UK standard visitor visa, this for the private medical treatment also allows you to stay in UK for 6 months only. But what if you need to stay for longer? You need Long term UK visit visa for private medical treatment.

Treatment which would take over six months

In cases where it is known that the proposed treatment will take more than 6 months then you can apply for 11 month visa before you come to the UK. However the treatment must still be for a finite period only. Also you must choose the relevant visa option and pay the relevant fee for this. But if you apply for only 6 months visa and the supporting information that you submit shows that treatment will take over 6 months then you cannot get the longer visa. For this you need to apply for any additional periods that you need by making an extension application. When you want to extend your stay in the UK for private medical treatment then you must provide a letter from a registered medical practitioner in the UK.

Long term UK visit visa for private medical treatment

When you need Long term UK visit visa for private medical treatment when you have to stay in the UK for more than 6 months or 11 months then under the immigration rules of UK, you can apply for UK visa multiple entries. This grants the visitor to come to UK for multiple visits but each of your visits can only be up to 6 months duration and this can go for over a period of 2 year, 5 year and 10 years. When you apply for Long term UK visit visa then you are required to abide by all the relevant visitor rules so that you can be granted the length or duration of your visit visa. So, you as an applicant need to prove that you have a genuine intention to visit the UK on a regular basis which in this case is private treatment.




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