Changes to Immigration Rules affecting settlement and Tier 2 ILR applications

The latest changes to the Immigration Rules have been announced, affecting settlement applications, and main visa categories.

Under the new rules, all applications submitted on or after 19 November 2015 unless otherwise stated are affected as follows:

  • English language tests taken as part of an application for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and naturalisation must now be a ‘secure English language test’. Qualifications accepted by the Home Office are listed in Appendix O of the Immigration Rules.
  • With effect from April 2016, anyone on a Tier 2 visa applying for ILR must meet the minimum earnings threshold of £35000 per annum. This threshold will increase again in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
  • Entry clearance for a child will be refused in cases where the Secretary of State decides a child’s sponsor, or the sponsor’s partner, poses a risk to the child.
  • The profession of nurse and 4 ‘digital technology’ roles have been added to the shortage occupation list.
  • Clarifications to the charity worker rules for sponsors and applicants.

Minor changes were also made to the youth mobility scheme, and the list of government authorised exchange schemes. These changes are detailed in the Statement of Changes, however there is no guidance document summarising this complex document.

For more information we advise checking the relevant section of the Immigration section of

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