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.