The UK’s Home Office has recently published many changes to the country’s Immigration Rules. The following are some of the most notable changes:

 

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Category

This category is for those who are investing in the UK by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the UK. Notable changes made to this category include the following:

 

  • Use of the “genuineness” tests is to be expanded for extension and indefinite leave to remain applications.
  • Submission of business plans for initial applications under the Tier 1 Category will be mandatory.
  • Applicants who are relying on their own funds must submit proof of these funds if they have held the funds for less than 90 days prior to making the initial application.
  • There will be limitations on how the £200,000 investment funds may be spent. For example, buying a business from a previous owner will no longer be acceptable.

To review the changes made to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Category, visit the Home Office’s website.

 

Tier 2 Category

 

This category enables UK employers to employ foreign nationals to fill particular positions that cannot be filled by local UK workers.

 

  • New minimum salary thresholds have been implemented.
    • For Tier 2 (General), the new minimum salary is £20,800
    • For jobs that are exempt from advertising in Jobcentre Plus, the new minimum salary is £72,500
    • For jobs that are exempt from the annual limit and the Resident Labour Market Test, and for transfers of up to nine years (ICT), the new minimum salary is £155,300
    • Intra-Company Transfer: For the Short-Term, Skills Transfer, and Graduate Trainee categories, the new minimum salary is £24,800
    • Intra-Company Transfer: For the Long-Term category, the new minimum salary is £41,500
  • There will be no increase to the annual limit on Tier 2 (General) Restricted certificates. The number of certificates will stay at 20,700 but will be reallocated to increase the number of certificates available at the start of the limit year in April from 1,725 to 2,550.
  • For those applicants who were previously granted Tier 2 leave of three months or less, the “cooling-off period” requirement has since been lifted.

For more details on the changes made to the Tier 2 Category, please view the Home Office’s official update.

 

Visitor Category

 

The Visitor Visa category allows individuals to visit the UK for up to 6 months.

  • The Visitor Visa has been streamlined into only four categories, as compared to the previous 15 categories. The four categories are as follows: visitor (standard), visitor for marriage or civil partnership, visitor for permitted paid engagements, and transit visitor.
  • The student visitor category is no longer included in the Visitor Visa’s category.
  • The “parent of a child at school” category is also no longer included in the Visitor Visa’s category.
  • The new visitor (standard) category, there is a broadened list of permitted activities. The following activities are now included:
    • Volunteering at a registered UK charity for up to 30 days.
    • Training employees of a multinational company that is based in the UK. (If the trainer is an employee of an overseas training company.)
    • Non-corporate organizations will be permitted to train in the UK on specialist work practices and techniques.
    • Lawyers, both those who are and are not employed by an overseas multinational company, will be permitted to advise UK clients on litigation and international transactions.

Most of the abovementioned changes are to go into effect April 2015.


Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.