Changes to the Immigration rules in effect from 6 April 2013

A range of changes to the Immigration Rules have been announced by the UKBA, which come into effect on 6 April 2013. The changes affect Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) and (Exceptional talent) routes, Tier 2, Tier 4, the shortage occupation list and the salary thresholds for skilled workers.

The full details of the changes are detailed in the UKBA’s Statement of changes HC 1039 and are summarised below:

  • Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) route: Extra places are added for MBA graduates to help them find work in the UK after completing their studies
  • Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) route: The application process is being split so that the full fee is only payable after the relevant competent body has endorsed an application. Applicants will also be able to keep their passport whilst the relevant competent body is considering their decision
  • Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer) route: Applicants earning over £152,100 no longer have to take an English test to extend their stay in the UK. The supporting documents required are reduced and any staff working in the UK and earning over £152,100 no longer need to wait 12 months before taking up a new post
  • The shortage occupation list and salary thresholds: The list of skilled occupations, visa salary thresholds and expected earnings per occupation have all been updated
  • Tier 4 route: PhD graduates can now extend their stay by 12 months to give them time to find skilled employment or set up as entrepreneurs

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