Latest statement of changes to Immigration Rules

The Home Office has published the latest statement of changes to the Immigration Rules, which will in most cases come into effect on 11 January.

The changes will affect Tier 4 students and Tier 2 General migrants. Tier 4 students will find it slightly easier to switch to Tier 2 General status (they will not have to wait for their course results) and Tier 2 General migrants will in some cases find it easier to acquire settlement on the basis of five years’ leave. There is currently a rule that if there is a gap of more than 60 days in the five years employment then this will break “continuous residence” but this rule is going to be abolished.

Tier 1 is also affected. As previously announced, the number of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas is to be expanded from 1,000 to 2,000. And some really exceptionally talented Tier 1 Exceptional Talent migrants will be able to acquire settlement in just three years.

And there is another change affecting Tier 1. At present Tier 1 main applicants applying for settlement have to meet a requirement that they must not have spent more than 180 days per 12 months outside the UK, but Tier 1 dependants do not have to meet any such rule. But under the new rule coming into effect Tier 1 dependants will also have to meet such a requirement.

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