United Kingdom – New Immigration Rules to Take Effect April 6, 2016

What has changed

A Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC877 was released on March 11, 2016 detailing minor changes to the Immigration Rules. Changes will be effective from April 6, 2016.

Who is affected?

  • All employers sponsoring migrants under the Points Based System 

What to expect

The recently released Statement of Changes includes the following:

  • The monthly allocation of certificates under the annual limit for Tier 2 General Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship [CoS’] is being redistributed.  However, the total number of 20,700 per year has not changed. The allotment will be greater from March through to August to account for seasonal demand with fewer being available from September through March. Unused Certificates will continue to be rolled over to the following month.
  • The “Points Based Calculator” is being removed from the UKVI website on April 5, 2016. This tool is commonly used to establish whether certain degree qualifications can be used in Point Based applications. Applicants will now have to apply for and receive an official statement from UK NARIC to demonstrate that their qualifications meet the English Language requirement. Fees will apply for this service.
  • Overseas Domestic Workers will now be permitted to change employers within the validity of their six month entry visa to the UK. Domestic workers who are the victims of slavery or human trafficking may be granted leave to remain in this category for a period of up to two years.
  • Migrants subject to immigration controls who have incurred a cumulative NHS debt of £1,000 or more should normally be refused entry clearance and leave to enter or remain in the UK until the debt is cleared. The amendment taking place lowers the threshold from £1,000 to £500.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Companies wanting to sponsor non-EEA foreign nationals should be aware that due to the reduced numbers of Restricted CoS’ available each month from September onwards, applications may be refused for not meeting the points requirements.
  • Emigra Worldwide will be able to obtain the English language confirmations from NARIC on our client’s behalf. However, time taken to obtain this confirmation must be taken into account.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.