On Friday, 6 September 2013, the UK parliament released a ministerial statement outlining a number of changes to UK immigration rules, which will come into effect from 1 October 2013.
The changes will mean greater flexibility for businesses, workers and tourists based in the UK. Some of the more prominent developments include:
- The removal of the English Language Requirement for intra-company transferees.
- An easier application process for graduate entrepreneurs to switch to a Tier 2 Visa.
- The waiver of share ownership restrictions for some senior staff.
- A change in the Tier 5 Visa, enabling students to work as interns under the government-authorised Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS).
- Permission for tourists and business visitors to perform some study, even if it is not the main purpose of their visit.
- An expansion in the number of activities that business visitors can participate in while in the UK.
- An increase in the security checks to ensure that applicants for work and student visas are genuine, and intend to meet the conditions of leave they apply for.
- Temporary immigration rules to enable participants and staff to enter the UK during the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
- The introduction of a scheme that allows some locally-engaged staff in Afghanistan to relocate to the UK.
- Qualification for a Tier 1 Visa for those who demonstrate exceptional promise in the arts.
Changes have also been made to the way that HMRC processes settlement applications for refugees who have committed crimes, giving them the power to curtail leave for persistent or serious offenders.
Further developments are expected to come into effect at the end of October 2013. We will keep you posted on these as soon as we received confirmation.