The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced changes to the treatment of visa applications for domestic servants in diplomatic households. This follows an earlier promise by Ministers that settlement provisions will be retained for those entering the United Kingdom under tier 5 of the points-based system.
The UKBA has made two important changes:
Private servants in diplomatic households working in the UK on or before 26 November 2008
The UKBA previously introduced special transitional arrangements for workers in this category. Approved applications were eligible for a “one-off grant of leave to remain of up to five years, which is the current threshold for settlement”.
To ensure that all those who were eligible to apply under the transitional arrangements have an opportunity to do so, the UKBA will “exceptionally continue to accept applications under these arrangements for a further 18 months, until 26 May 2010”.
New entrants to the UK
Under changes which came into force on 27 November 2008 with the launch of the points based system, new Domestic Workers in diplomatic households applying to enter the UK must now apply under the ‘tier 5 temporary worker’ – international agreement sub-category of the new system.
Under this category you will be eligible to extend you stay in the UK, as outlined in the immigration rules for migrants and their sponsors.
You may be granted further extensions to your leave for periods of up to 12 months at a time, up to a total of six years. You will now be eligible to apply for settlement once you have reached the required threshold, which is currently five years. This change will be in the immigration rules at the next formal change in March 2009.