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Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules | Immigration Matters

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Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire has announced another statement of changes in immigration rules this month.:

These changes today will ensure that the UK remains competitive in attracting global talent to work for British businesses, so that we can succeed in the global race.

We are building an immigration system that works in the national interest as part of our long term economic plan. One that is fair to hard-working British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who break the rules or flout the law.

These changes, in summary, are:

  • Expanding the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category to include leading talent in the digital technology sector, who are endorsed by Tech City UK, as well as making it easier for applicants in this category to apply from overseas, and to count time spent in other immigration categories towards qualifying for settlement.
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) scheme to be made more flexible and simpler by removing the ring-fencing of places for MBA graduates and the current restrictions on participants’ graduation dates.
  • Tier 2 grants of leave for up to five years at a time, rather than a maximum of three years at a time as at present. Changes to Tier 2 requirements are also to be applied to Croatian nationals.Ending the exemption from the genuineness test that applies to nationals on this list when applying for a Tier 4 visa.
  • Scheduled updates to salary and maintenance fund requirements, as well as a number of other minor changes to Points-Based System categories. The maintenance fund changes will take effect for applications made from 1 July.
  • New category for overseas government sponsored language teachers under the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange route. Apparently this will enable government sponsored teachers to share knowledge and awareness of foreign languages and cultures in the UK, starting with a Mandarin teaching scheme designed to foster good cultural relations between the UK and China.
  • Changes to the curtailment provisions in Part 9 of the Immigration Rules (General Grounds for Refusal) “to support the Home Office in its work to take robust action against those who attempt to abuse the immigration system and ensure that migrants do not retain leave to which they are no longer entitled.” In particular:
    • incorporate the grounds in section 10(1)(b) and (c) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 in preparation for the changes made by the Immigration Bill
    • enable leave to be curtailed where a Points-Based System sponsor notifies the Home Office that a migrant’s period of study or work is due to end earlier than had been originally planned when leave to enter or remain was granted
    • make further minor changes to ensure that the wording and the intentions of the rules are clear and consistent.
  • Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates added to the list of countries whose nationals benefit from different documentary requirements. Also, Bahraini nationals who hold diplomatic and special passports issued by Bahrain when travelling to the UK for the purpose of a general visit will no longer have to obtain a visit visa to travel to the UK.
  • But Venezuela to be added to the list of counties whose nationals require a visa to travel to the UK.
  • Discretionary policies for civilian employees of NATO and the Australian Department of Defence, and employees of firms under contract to NATO to be incorporated into the Immigration Rules.
  • Minor changes and clarifications to the Immigration Rules relating to family life.
  • Clarification of the knowledge of language and life provisions which apply for settlement applications by partners and children of members of HM Forces.

If you have been arrested or detained, need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 1, 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed, Spouse Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: or visit for free immigration news updates.


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Anthony is an Immigration Law Adviser registered with the OISC, an Accountant, Microsoft Certified and Training Provider. Anthony is the Principal Consultant and CEO at Bison Management - an Immigration Law firm registered by the OISC no F201400920. Anthony is the publisher of the free online resource: and you can view his profile here:

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