11th October 2018
On the 11th October, the Home Office published a new statement of changes to the UK Immigration Rules, which will take effect from 1st November 2018.
This is the fourth update to the rules so far in 2018, further changes are due to be announced in December 2018.
Key changes to the immigration rules include:
EU Settlement Scheme
The Home Office have attested that the phase 1 pilot of the new “settled status” scheme involving 12 NHS Trusts and 3 universities in England has been widely positive.
A rollout of the second beta test phase will run from 1st November until 21st December has been announced and will include staff working in the higher education, health and social care sectors across the UK. Additionally, vulnerable people with additional support needs will be included in the second phase, as will selected local authorities and community organisations. Consequently phase 2 is expected to see a major increase in applications provide a more robust test for the system due to be fully operationally by March 2019.
Introduction of ‘Calais Leave’.
The new category of leave will be available for those migrants who transferred to the UK from the camp in Calais between 17th October 2016 and 13th July 2017, including those that would normally be refused leave under existing asylum and immigration rules.
Those granted Calais leave, or dependants of those granted Calais leave will be granted leave for 5 years with the possibility of extending for a further 5 years after expiry. Following 10 years residence in the UK they should be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
Confirmation of a new online visa application service in the UK, operated by Sopra Steria
Due to rollout next month, the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services centres will be available across the country. The 6 principle centres will include: Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and Croydon. There will be an additional premium lounge in London and 50 “enhanced service points” across the UK.
As part of the Home Office’s digital transformation, the new services will include the option of applicants uploading their supporting documents from home or utilising a new mobile service to visit them at work, university, homes etc.
We will provide further update on this development soon.
Minor changes to the Tier 4 Student rules
Appendix 6 to the Immigration Rules lists the academic subjects that require a certificate from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to be included in an application to study that subject in the UK. Courses formerly allocated a Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) code will now be allocated a Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code.
Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirement (KoLL) – Exemptions
The rules have been clarified with regards to what the Home Office expect of someone requesting an exemption to sitting the KoLL tests on medical grounds. A template for use by medical professionals with the aim of enhancing the understanding of the tests the migrant would be expected to take is due to be introduced. This is to enable medical professionals to make a considered judgement as to whether an exemption should be supported.
What action should you take?
If you are likely to be affected by any of these changes or wish to discuss the potential impact with an immigration expert, please contact Santa Fe’s UK immigration team at UKImmigration@SantaFeRelo.com