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UK Immigration Rule changes announced by Government | Immigration Matters

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The UK Border Agency has announced that a written ministerial statement has been ‘laid in Parliament’ on 22 November 2012 bringing into Law a number of changes to the Immigration Rules, which will come in to force next month on 13 December 2012.

Most of the changes are said to be minor amendments to the Immigration Rules, however, the decision to restrict international student graduates from switching  into the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa looks a little more than a “minor” change.

Preventing students from staying on in the UK to invest money and employ people seems counter productive.

The UKBA say that these changes to the Immigration Rules include ‘non substantive’ changes for sponsors and migrants coming to the UK under the following routes of the points-based system:

  • Tier 1 – entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Tier 2 – skilled workers, including changes for senior intra-company transfers.
  • Tier 4 – students, including extending the interim limit.
  • Tier 5 – temporary workers including the requirements for the government authorised exchange category and private servants in a diplomatic household.
  • Sponsorship – revised sponsorship guidance will be published in December.

Criminal Convictions

Criminal convictions (even for not paying your fare on a train) and County Court Judgments (CCJ’s) or Civil Judgments can lead to man datoryvisa refusals, as we are already seeing.

  • Establishing a more robust and clear criminality framework to assess immigration applications against which immigration applications will be assessed.
  • Recalculating the length of time, based on the length of sentence, before we will revoke a deportation order.
  • Introduction of a re-entry ban, for some foreign national offenders who have been removed from the UK as part of a conditional caution and additional powers to end (curtail) a migrant’s visa or leave.
  • Creation of a ‘route’ for ex-Armed Forces to remain in the UK.


  • Amendments to clarify the absences from the UK that are allowed during the continuous residence period for Tier 1 (General), Tier 2 and pre-points based system work routes (for example work permits, self-employment and business person).

Family and private life

  • Minor changes to the child and parent routes to make them as clear and comprehensive as possible.

There will also be some changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme quotas and Tier 4 loan letters in early 2013.

See the UKBA website the the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules and the explanatory memorandum within the document. See below written ministerial statement. The statement of policy can be found on the Home Office website. Source: UK Border Agency.

Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules

This written ministerial statement was laid in the House of Commons on 22 November 2012 by Theresa May, and in the House of Lords by Lord Taylor of Holbeach.

In April last year the Government made substantial changes to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Investor) categories. The Home Office has been reviewing how effective these changes have been. As a result, a number of minor changes are being made to these two categories, including:

  • Providing for entrepreneurs with funding from Departments of Devolved Administrations
  • Lowering the English language requirement for entrepreneurs in response to concerns that the high requirement was a possible deterrent to potentially successful businesses
  • Restricting the ability of students to switch into the entrepreneur route, due to concerns about abuse
  • Restricting investors from working as professional sportspeople, to prevent them circumventing the Sports Governing Body endorsement needed in the dedicated routes for sportspeople
  • Additional controls to ensure entrepreneurs and investors genuinely have access to the funds they claim they do
  • Providing for investors? leave to be curtailed if they fail to maintain the required level of investment
  • Clarifications to confirm that points will not be awarded for investments against which applicants have taken out loans, or investments that are held in offshore custody.

I am making minor changes to Tier 2, the route for skilled workers with a job offer. These include supporting business by allowing very senior intra-company transferees to extend their stay in the UK up to 9 years (other transferees are restricted to a maximum of 5 years); making provision for barristers to apply in Tier 2; and making the operation of “cooling off periods” more flexible for migrants who leave the UK before their leave expires.

I am setting the annual allocations of places for participating countries and territories in the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme), and widening the definition of a training programme under the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange category to include training by HM Armed Forces and UK emergency services.

I am making changes to the International Agreement sub-category of Tier 5, to make more specific provision for contractual service suppliers (who do not otherwise have a UK presence) seeking admission under the relevant commitments in certain international trade agreements to which the UK is a party.

Applicants for settlement on the basis of work or economic activity in the UK must complete a continuous period of lawful residence in the UK – usually 5 years with exceptions for some Tier 1 Investors and Entrepreneurs and some Highly Skilled Migrant Programme migrants. Although it has been our practice to permit some absences from the UK during this period, the length of the short absences has not been specified.

I am making changes to the Immigration Rules for indefinite leave to remain for work permit and other pre-Points Based System employment, for businesspersons, innovators, investors, self-employed persons, writers, artists and composers, those here on the basis of UK Ancestry and for Tier 1 General, Tier 2 General, Sportsperson and Minister of Religion migrants and retired persons of independent means. These changes clarify that absences of up to 180 days in a 12 month period are permitted, provided the absence is for a reason that is consistent with the migrant?s purpose of stay in the UK or for serious or compelling reasons.

I am also making minor changes to the Tier 4 Immigration Rules on students, including allowing students to start work on a business idea or as a doctor or dentist in training as soon as they have submitted an appropriate application; removing an avenue used by applicants to circumvent our rules that ensure an applicant has sufficient funds to cover their course and maintenance; and extending the period of the interim limit where educational institutions that have not achieved both a satisfactory educational oversight inspection from a specified body and Highly Trusted Sponsor status are subject to an interim limit on the number of international students that can be recruited.

I am making a number of changes to the Immigration Rules on family and private life. These mainly reflect experience of the operation of the new Rules since they were implemented on 9 July 2012 and will help to make those Rules as clear and comprehensive as possible. The changes mainly concern the child and parent provisions of the Rules and the specified evidence required to meet the financial requirements of the Rules.

In addition to these changes, I am also creating a more robust, clear and transparent criminality framework against which immigration applications will be assessed. At present, there are few specific thresholds in the Immigration Rules. Much is left to discretion, except at the settlement stage where an unspent conviction results in mandatory refusal. There is some advantage to this flexibility in that it allows discretion to deal with hard cases, but it also means that there is a lack of consistency in dealing with offences. These changes will make it clearer about the level of offending that will lead to refusal.

The consequential changes will also:

  • change the periods before a deportation order will normally be revoked
  • introduce a limited leave „route? for foreign and Commonwealth ex-Armed Forces personnel who fail to qualify for indefinite leave or citizenship because of a relatively minor conviction
  • introduce a re-entry ban of five years for any offender who leaves the UK as a requirement of a conditional caution
  • introduce a discretionary power to curtail leave where a person commits an offence within the first six months of entering the UK.

Finally, I am also making a number of minor technical changes, corrections and updates to lists contained in the Immigration Rules. Details of these are set out in the Explanatory Memorandum being laid today to accompany the changes.

Date: Thu Nov 22 10:37:56 GMT 2012

If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy 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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46 Responses to “UK Immigration Rule changes announced by Government”
Read them below or add one

  1. ramandeep singh says :

    I m illegal here my visa has been expired last any chance of human right case.i m frm india..wht i do???

  2. Shaffy says :

    Hi I am on a student visa, me and my husband have both come on student visas, and our courses have finished and the renewal is coming up and he is working full time. We plan to settle in this country. I am now pregnant, is this a good case to get settlement here because we want to stay in this country with my sisters who are also married here.

  3. Sumi, it depends on the full case. He could apply for his own student visa as well.

  4. SUMI MARY THOMAS says :

    Hello ,I am a tier 4 student visa holder since november 2012,my husband is also on student visa,since 2009.I would like to know if he can be as dependent as his visa expires on september 2013. Now I am pregnant and attend my college without any break and would like to know about maternity leave from college.

  5. Speak to your immigration consultant or call 02089051822 to arrange a consultation with another adviser.

  6. @charles kelly
    hi, they told me on their letter that a full refund will be given to me. But what troubles me is that after 6months of not telling me the mistake on my application they will just tell me they can’t do anything when i called he HO number. my employer has her immigration consultant dealing with it now. she said the discretion of the HO discision is only until 3months after the application has been lodged. since they took 6months before returning my documents i have the right to appeal against their discision. and that they hould just reconsider my previous application instead of filing a new one. is that true? i am really worried and panicky at this point.

  7. Although it is your responsibility to use the correct form, they could have sent the whole form back!
    And they still took the fee even when you sent the wrong form. They Your visa has expired now, so have or your lawyer you considered an appeal? If you need advice talk to your own lawyer or for a second opinion call 0208 905 1822.

  8. hi,
    i just came across this site and was experiencin problems myself. i am on a domestic visa and i have my husband in here as well as mu dependent. i arrived on UK june2007. last aug 11 2012 i applied for an Indeffinite Leave. our visa expires aug16. they sent us acknowledgement letter Aug17 and the they took our payment aug.14. after a few months nov14 they sent us letter for biometric enrolment which we did nov24. feb21 they sent us back our papers stating that the application is invalid because i i used a wrong application form. the form that i used expired july30 because they changed it. i was so upset because they told us after 6months when they should have noticed it in the first few months of the application. my lawyer advised us to file another application. do i stand a chance of being granted a visa? this is really frustrating..

  9. kinjal patel says :

    Dear Sir,

    my visa ( student tire 4 ) and my wife dependant visa,
    has been curtail in sep 2011. that time i m come bach to my home country in within time line ,
    now i want to come back to uk under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), with my wife and my son.
    Introduction of a re-entry ban, for some foreign national offenders who have been removed from the UK as part of a conditional caution and additional powers to end (curtail) a migrant’s visa or leave.

    please conform and advice

  10. kinjal patel says :

    Dear Sir,

  11. Kshitiz says :

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am here in the UK under /HSMP/tier-1 visa since 2008.I am going to apply for ILR soon.I have two well grown kids and wife.My wife reported police as a domestic violence in 2011 and I got a simple caution under the act of criminal damage act 1971 section 1.
    My wife and kids are living apart from me under the support of children protection plan or any really dont know??.In this case can I get ILR as a offender of domestic violence ? .I haven’t got any court order or further cautions from police regarding any issues.Can I apply myself only in this case?.As I know a simple caution is immediately spent but what consideration would be taken as my wife is living under the domestic violence.Note : I have been paying children maintenance which is 20 % of my earning after tax.
    I would be highly grateful for your information.

  12. […] UK Border Agency announced that a written ministerial statement was ‘laid in Parliament’ on 22 November 2012 bringing into Law a number of changes to the […]

  13. […] UK Border Agency announced that a written ministerial statement was ‘laid in Parliament’ on 22 November 2012 bringing into Law a number of changes to the […]

  14. Hi there,

    I came to UK in Sept 2009.
    I am under PSW and my visa expires in August 2013 along with my wife. I was planning to apply for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa but its seems that it will be difficult after December 2012 changes.
    I am still working for a company who is willing to sponsor me. Is there any criteria that any company can or cannot sponsor me. Turnover or profit that the company needs to have to sponsor non EU migrant. If no that I would like to have an advise on what could be the best option for me to extend my visa.

  15. selvendran says :

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I am in PSW visa, my wife with two daughters are in my country. I would like to bring them in dependent visa in January. I have deposited money £600 each to show the fund. Will there be any changes in the new rules for showing the fund?

  16. […] UK Immigration Rule changes announced by Government […]

  17. hi,
    aim on student visa at the moment, aim doing MBA now. i do not have a right to work,but when my course finish before my visa expires can tier 2 sponsor can sponsor me, so that can i apply for tier 2 visa,what is requirement plz,please can u guide me,


  18. I’m waiting on a ukba to give me an answer on her visa. It’s been 5 months. We also have a baby son 3 months living with his mother in Pakistan. What can I do to get my son over to England soon as possible I’m a British citizen.

  19. Bal Krishna K C says :

    Dear Sir/ Madam,
    My dependent is working as a home care assistant through an agency. She is hard working and dedicate to work which is appreciated by service user and wants to keep her as private carer.
    i would like to know, is there any procedures to change dependent visa into private carer?

  20. Emma George says :

    Hello, I came to the UK in September 2007 to study. Since then I have acquired a BSc Hons degree then went on PSW via for 2 years before doing an MSc degree. I would like to switch from a Tier 4 Student to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. Please, what are the requirements and what do I do about it.

  21. New Rules affect everybody, including you.

  22. Normally 50k. The UKBA will restrict students from switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from 13 December.

  23. Welcome to the “ukba have acted unreasonably” club! They cause so much hassle a dnwaste their own time in the process, which costs the tax payer even more money.

  24. The question on the application form is clear. If you lie and are found out you will be refused 100%. You should see an adviser in confidence. They will advise you. Try Bison UK on 02089051822 on Monday.


    Immigration Matters

  25. The fact is, letter or no letter, you have not been studying since you arrived a year and a half ago? You should see an adviser in confidence. They will advise you. Try Bison UK on 02089051822 on Monday.


    Immigration Matters

  26. […] UK Immigration Rule changes announced by Government […]

  27. neediya says :

    iam currently in post study work visa my visa expires on 2014
    but I want to go back to my country(Nepal) for 6 months and come back to UK again. will it be a problem when I come back??
    I am going back to get more experience in nursing so that I can come back to UK and apply for adaptation course.

    if everything works out well n if I get a pin number in UK then can I apply gor a work permit??

  28. Actually i applied for tier1 in jan. but i did not receive any reaponse rill now its too late. how long i have to wait pls tell me. have i face any provlem ifany immigration officer ask me for my passport

  29. Im on tier4 visa and my and wife dependant last was curtail, my wife didnt appeald she left but i appeald my visa and win and now currently on tier4 visa so my second semester of uni so i am calling again to my wife visa and baby as well so she didnt appeal about last curtailment so will that be ok if i apply her visa or new laws 22nov changes will effect on my wife application? Becuase i dont understand this on 22nov (Introduction of a re-entry ban, for some foreign national offenders who have been removed from the UK as part of a conditional caution and additional powers to end (curtail) a migrant’s visa or leave)

    Please advice asap as application next week will submit frm pakistan and i just worrying about she will be fine on her application or not.she didnt appeal on last period because of studies timings and lones issues.

  30. Frah Ali says :

    I would like to know that what is rule for students who does study for 10 years and stay soomyhly during study period. Are they able to ge ILR after completing 10 years.

    Many thanks

  31. hi, am on post study work and visa is going to expire in march. Am working in NHS AS band 2, they cannot sponser me am also qualified nurse from India and preparing FOR adaptation.Which visa i can apply so that I can keep my job continue.thanks

  32. Ali Zain says :

    I entered into UK on 3/05/11 as a student.
    When I came my college was suspended and
    In December when I went to college and I tried to contact but nobody
    Replied r Recieved my call,it was closed and after a few days a
    New college was opened in the same building
    The name of my college was VCN.
    I am waiting for a letter from UKBA about my colleg
    Closure and my immigration status
    But I did not recve yet
    My wife is with me as a dependant
    What should I do now? Should I wait for a letter from
    UKBA or should do something else
    Plz Guide me

  33. ccj I mean

  34. I want to apply for my British citizenship! I had two Vick in 2009 for water bill but they all paid off. What are my chances of being approved and do I include it in the application form. Thank you

  35. I am a nurse working in a nursing home sponsored by my current employer(Tier 2). Is there any chance for me to work in NHS or private hospitals or clinics. Thank you

  36. Respected Sir,

    We always pleasure to receive your mail.
    Sir, presently I am in India. My wife is British Citizen. We were in UK in 2007-2008 for ten months and we returned due to some circumstances. Meanwhile, my younger son is in UK from September 2008 till date on student visa. He has successfully cleared PGD in Retail Management and thereafter MBA with job opportunity.

    Further, my son born in August 1983. As per law we know that he will not be able to get British Citizen on Mother’s citizenship as he born after January 1983.

    Sir, can you advise me any other alternative rout for him?

    If you need any more information I can provide you.


    Praful Thar

  37. Anthony o says :

    I want to use our new born baby to apply as parent, and with the new rule of having sole responsibility, can I have sole parental responsibility if my girl friend who is a British citizen gives her consent and the baby still leaves with her since he is newly born?

  38. I was in uk over 15 years here illegally and I had a family life in uk which at moment yield leave to remain me and my family and it will be expired nest year , during this period of not having document I borrowed some money from bank and I was unable to pay back till now is about 4 years ago, I did check my credit history there was no ccj court on it, would these affect me when I want apply for my indefinite ?

  39. Kwaku Sam says :

    I applied for extension of my tier 1 general visa for 3 years on 29th january, 2009 having been granted initial 2yrs. The ukba kept my documents until the very day it was expiring on 21st march 2009, when they returned my documents saying that the application form i used was the wrong one. The ukba still kept the payment i made and only requested i should change the application form.
    Being a saturday, i posted my passport and that of my dependant again to them and sent the correct application form 2days later. I received the passports again from a different caseworker who said that she could not action the passport alone but i should send the correct form as has been requested. I sent the passport again to the ukba the same day as i had received acknowledgement letter for the post on 23march.
    I received a letter on 27th April,2009 from ukba again this time saying that the amount i ticked wasn’t the correct fees. They said as of the date i made my application, there was an increase in the fees to £750, and by the time i will be applying this will increase to £820 for myself and £50 for my wife. I was told in order for it not to affect any appeals in future i should apply asap.
    I was never told to go to the tribunal for a decision or that i have to leave the uk and apply for the visa in my home country or that i have become illegal in the uk.

    There were changes in the application form as well as visa fees.
    i was finally granted my 3yr extention 3weeks later.

    I am now due for indefinate leave to remain this year only to receive a letter from the ukba that there was a gap in my visa between march and april 2009.

    I was sent an appeal form. I have passed this on to a solicitor but i feel the ukba have acted unreasonably. This is affecting me financially as i have to pay for a solicitor as well as the the tribunal fees of £280 for myself and my wife.
    i would be glad with any advice in this matter.

  40. sunita bhatia says :

    I am currently on post study visa which is expires in august 2013. I am working in a care home i want to renew my visa can you tell me the right way for my extension and tell me how much i need for that. Thank you very much.

  41. I am tier 4 student going to switch on tier 1 entrepreneur visa. I am going to apply in the month of January 2013. How much money should be shown in my account for investing the business.Thank you.

  42. I am in PSW visa right now i have still 9 months visa, i am planing to swich in to tier 1 entrepreneare (from PSW) visa, so the new rules which will comes into effect from 13 DEC 2012, Does it effect on me or not?

  43. You should see a specialist immigfration adviser, preferrably with human rights experience. They will advise you. Please contact Bison UK on 02089051822 on Monday.

  44. I am currently on post study visa which expires in few weeks time but couldnt get a sponsorship and job because of prenancy and childbirth,of which I am still on maternity. Are there any exceptional consideration for me as with complex pregnancy/child birth. Switching to tier 4,how much money am I supposed to have in my account? Thank you.

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