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Applicants: 6 April changes to the Immigration Rules

05 April 2013

As previously announced, a number of changes to the Immigration Rules are coming into effect on 6 April 2013.

The changes to the rules are as follows:

  • The Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) route, to include additional places for talented MBA graduates from UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This will also include the UK Trade and Investment's elite global graduate entrepreneur scheme.
  • The Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) route, to split the application process so that applicants w... ill no longer have to pay the full fee up front. This will also mean applicants will not have to submit their passport to us while their application for endorsement by a designated competent body is being considered.
  • Tier 2, to improve the flexibility for intra-company transferees and for employers carrying out the resident labour market test.
  • The shortage occupation list and the codes of practice for skilled workers.
  • Tier 4, to allow completing PhD students to stay in the UK for one year beyond the end of their course to find skilled work or to set up as an entrepreneur.
  • Family and private life - these are minor changes to reflect feedback from legal practitioners and our caseworkers.

In addition a number of minor technical changes, corrections and updates will also be made to the Immigration Rules. These include:

  • Making minor changes to ensure there are the necessary requirements for granting discretionary leave to unaccompanied asylum seeking children, and amending the length of discretionary leave granted to these young people to simplify the process and provide some continuity for them.
  • Clarifying the general visitor rules.
  • Updating the provisions in Tier 5 for temporary workers.
  • Minor changes to the Rules on long residence and on work-related settlement.
  • Introducing a new protection route recognising stateless persons.

For full details of the changes please see the Statement of Changes to the Immigration rules (HC 1039) and the Explanatory Memorandum on the right side of this page. The written ministerial statement can found on Gov.uk. Further information on the Changes to Tier 4 and Tier 1 are available on the relevant pages of the UK Border Agency website.

From 1 April 2013 the UK Border Agency was split into 2 separate units within the Home Office: an immigration and visa service and an immigration law enforcement division.

These organisational changes to the UK Border Agency do not affect the validity of any reference to the agency in any document or form on this website. The UK's Immigration Rules will also remain in force.