Last Friday, Mark Harper, the immigration minister, announced changes which generally ease visa rules from 1st October 2013. Some of the key changes are:
- Removal of the English language requirement for intra-company transferees.
- Tourists and business visitors are allowed to do some study where it is not the main purpose of their visit.
- Share ownership restrictions waived for senior staff earning £152,100 or more.
- Artists of exceptional promise enabled to apply under Tier 1.
- Graduate entrepreneurs will find it easier to switch into Tier 2.
- New youth mobility scheme quotas set for 2014
- Hong Kong will be added to the list of participating countries and territories on the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme in order to further strenghten business, trade and cultural ties.
- Some students will be allowed to work as interns under the Tier 5 government authorised exchange scheme.
- The removal of the prospective student route.
- The expansion of checks to ensure applicants for work and student visas are genuine, and that they intend to meet the conditions of leave they apply for.
- The introducion of powers to refuse Tier 4 extension applications where the applicant cannot speak English.
- Dependants in the Points Based System and other work routes will be allowed to apply from within the UK, providing they are not here illegally, as visitors, or on temporary admission or temporary release. They will still need to satisfy all other existing requirements.
- Special rules for overseas visitors to the Commonwealth Games 2014 were included.
- With effect from the 28th October 2013 there will be changes to how applicants for indefinite leave to remain are required to demonstrate their knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK.
If you need a visa to work in IT, Engineering, Actuary or Finance Commonwealth Contractors may well be able to help.
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