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2015 14 JUL

New Changes to the Immigration Rules

New students at publicly funded colleges will be prevented from being able to work in the UK;

from "the autumn", "college students" will be unable to switch to a work visa or extend their study visa whilst they are in the UK.

The rules around academic progression are being tightened so that university students are only permitted to extend their studies at the same academic level if the course they wish to study is linked to their previous course, or the university confirms the course supports the student’s career aspirations. The time limit on further education study will be reduced from three years to two years in "the autumn".

The maintenance requirement for Tier 4 students is increasing, along with the maximum amount paid for accommodation which can be offset against the maintenance requirement,. The rule around established presence which allowed students applying to extend their leave within the UK to show only two months’ maintenance is being removed.

The application of the rules on time limits is being "clarified" so that the time a student has already spent studying in the UK is calculated using the full length of the leave they have previously been granted.

Changes are being made to allow a Tier 4 visa to be issued in line with a student’s intended date of travel.

Conditions of study are being changed, to prevent those in Tier 4 from studying at academies or schools maintained by a local authority. Those who wish to study a foundation course to prepare for entry to higher education are also being prevented from doing so under the Tier 4 (Child) route.

Where responsibilities of sponsor organisations and terminology have recently changed, the rules are being updated.

In addition, changes:

- enabling South African diplomatic passport holders to travel visa free to the UK for the purpose of ‘visit in transit’

- to amend the eligibility requirements for transit passengers, aligning the period within which nonvisa nationals must intend and are able to leave the UK with that of visa nationals (other than those using the Transit Without Visa Scheme)

- changes to administrative review, "which have been identified as necessary during the early stages of implementation." These include

To paragraph AR2.10 to provide that administrative review is no longer pending if a person makes a fresh leave to remain application. This means that 3C leave ends and the person is able to make a fresh application without the need to submit the waiver form.

To delete paragraph AR3.4 which barred persons who require but do not have leave to enter or remain and are liable for removal under s 10 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (as amended by the Immigration Act 2014) from administrative review. See also below.

-" minor changes and clarifications" relating to family and private life, mainly reflecting feedback from caseworkers and legal practitioners on the operation of the rules. Among the changes:

Providing that applicants under Part 8 who fail to meet the requirements for leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence or as a bereaved partner may request administrative review of the decision.
Ensuring that the transitional arrangements between Part 8 and Appendix Armed Forces cater for the partner of a British or settled member of HM Forces whose sponsor is discharged before they have applied for indefinite leave to remain.
Preventing those granted Temporary Admission or Temporary Release for a continuous period of six months or fewer from being able to make an application under Appendix FM.
"Clarifying" that direct access (in person) to a child is required for entry clearance or leave to remain as a parent under Appendix FM.
"Clarifying" the basis on which an applicant can be required to pay the Immigration Health Charge before being granted limited leave to remain where an application for indefinite leave to remain fails to meet the requirements for that leave but falls to be granted limited leave instead.
• Changes to the permitted sources of income and the specified evidence required under Appendix FM-SE in respect of the minimum income threshold for sponsoring a partner and any dependent children.
Allowing the income of an equity partner, e.g. in a law firm, to include a share in the profits of the partnership and for this to be treated as employment income.
Clarifying the requirement, in respect of non-employment income, for personal bank statements to be provided for or from the 12-month period prior to the application depending on the extent of that period for which the income is relied upon.
Treating a fee paid to a person appointed as a non-executive director as though it were income from employment in that capacity.
Allowing reliance on cash savings withdrawn from a pension pot owned by the person for at least the period of six months prior to the date of application, and requiring the specified evidence from the pension provider of any ongoing pension income also relied upon to reflect the cash withdrawn.
"Clarifying" the evidence required to demonstrate ongoing employment as a director of, or ongoing dividend income from, a specified limited company.
Referring in the specified evidence required under Appendix FM-SE in respect of the English language requirement for partners and parents to test results which may not be in documentary form, and to transitional arrangements for an approved test centre as well as for an approved test provider or test.

The rules also amend paragraph 19A on returning residents, to include the spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner of a Home Office employee, thus treating them in the same way as partners of British diplomats or of employees of the Department for International Development or the British Council .


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