On 10th July 2014, a written ministerial statement was laid in the House of Commons by James Brokenshire MP. There are five main changes which are discussed below. The main change is being made to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category.
(1) Changes to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category of the Points based system is a category for migrants who wish to set up or run a business in the UK. Migrants who wish to apply must have £200,000 or £50,000 disposable funds in their possession depending on their circumstances at the time.
Applicants who are already in the UK under the Tier 4 or Tier 1 Post Study worker category require £50,000 to switch into the Entrepreneur route and other applicants will require the greater amount. The rules have been amended so that those who are in the UK as Tier 4 migrants will only be able to switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route if they have access to £50,000 funding to invest on business from:
• one or more UK Entrepreneurial seed funding competitions endorsed by UK Trade & Investment; or
• one or more UK Government Departments or Devolved Government Departments in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Applicants who are in the UK under the Tier 1 Post Study Work category can switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category if they have access to funding from:
• one or more UK Entrepreneurial seed funding competitions endorsed by UK Trade and Investment, or
• one or more UK Government Departments or Devolved Government Departments in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, or
• have access to £50,000 funding from any source and have already established themselves in a genuine business (which is note employment with another employer) before 11 July 2014 and are working in a skilled occupation.
Those who already have leave in the category will be able to extend their stay and those with a genuine intention of setting up a business can continue to make applications from overseas which will not be affected. Graduates who want to extend their leave here can do so under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category.
Furthermore, it has also come to the Home Office’s attention that some applicants have attempted to obtain leave to remain with invalid or questionable ETS certificates in the same way as some applicants have abused the English language testing regime. The Home Office have found from their investigations that quite a few Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants are in employment in breach of their conditions.
The Home Office have also made further minor changes to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur categories which are as follows:
• Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrants are only permitted to work for their own business and cannot be self-employed but working for another employer.
• A Director of a company must be registered with Companies House and the tables in Appendix A are being clarified to reflect this.
• An applicant who is required to provide evidence of a business bank account must be a signatory to that account.
• Where an applicant is relying on funds held in a joint account with their spouse, partner or civil partner, or partner, the meaning of “partner” has been brought into line with that of the rules for family members under Appendix FM.
(2) Changes to Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
This route is for graduates who have been awarded a Bachelor’s Degree or higher and endorsed by a UK Higher Education Institution or by UK Trade and Investment who have confirmed that the applicant has a genuine business idea.
The requirement for those migrants who have been granted leave to remain under Tier 2, to have been sponsored as post-doctoral researchers only applies to applications for leave to remain. A correction is being made to make this clear.
(3) Changes to Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange)
There are two categories under this type of visa including the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) and Tier 5 (Temporary Workers). The Youth Mobility Scheme is for those who want to live and work in the UK for up to two years, are from Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Korea, or Taiwan and aged between 18-30.
The temporary workers category includes charity workers, creative or sports workers, workers under an international agreement and religious worker.
The Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) Visa is a scheme for those who want to come to the UK for a short time for work experience, training, research or fellowship, through an approved government authorised exchange scheme. This route has been changed to include a new 12 month “Mathematics Teacher Exchange” scheme between England and China to the list of approved schemes under this route.
The Department for Education (DfE) has funded this scheme and it will be run by an executive agency of the DfE, called the National College for Teaching and Leadership. The aim of this change is to share knowledge in relation to teaching of mathematics in schools in England as well as China.
(4) Changes to approved English Language Tests
Applicants are required to demonstrate their English language ability when applying under a number of different categories. If they have not completed a Degree in English then they must satisfy the requirement by passing an approved English language test. The list of approved English language tests and the levels of each test are set out in Appendix O of the immigrations rules.
From 1 August 2014, all tests provided by Cambridge International Examinations are being removed from the list of approved English language tests.
The BULATS online test provided by Cambridge English and the Trinity College London (ESOL Skills for Life test) are also being removed from the list. However other tests listed from these two providers will continue to be accepted.
(5) Changes to private and family life
The immigration rules relating to private and family in Appendix FM and paragraphs 276ADE-276DH are being aligned with public interest considerations under section 11B of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, in relation to decisions engaging Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. These considerations give the weight of primary legislation to Parliament’s view of what the public interest under Article 8 requires, particularly in relation to controlling immigration to safeguard the UK’s economic wellbeing.
By Jasmine Shergill,
Solicitor – Immigration, HR & Employment Department for TURBERVILLES (http://www.turbervilles.co.uk/)
This blog does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Appropriate legal advice should be sought for specific circumstances and before action is taken
For questions regarding the subject covered in this guide, please visit migreat.com.