Under the Conservative government, tough immigration changes will take effect from this Autumn as well as in April 2016. Here are how the changes could affect you:
Immigration status can now impact certain aspects of your daily life with your passport being checked more often. For example, civil penalties could be given to employers if they do not carry out relevant checks, landlords have begun checks of legal status in a pilot scheme being launched in the Midlands before a UK wide roll-out next year and the DVLA can check your immigration status and revoke your license. Additionally the health surcharge charges migrants to gain access to the NHS in the visa application. You could be denied leave to remain if in debt with the NHS.
Theresa May announced changes this month to the Tier 4 route for non EEA students. From August 2015 university students wishing to study a new course at the same level can only do so when there’s a link to their previous course or the university confirms that this supports their career aspirations. Additionally from November 2015 college students are banned from extending their Tier 4 UK visas unless they are studying at an ‘embedded college’, one which has a formal, direct link to a university that is recognised by the Home Office. This will require them to leave and apply for a new visa (including Tier 2 or 5) from outside the UK if they wish to come back for study or work. You can read the full changes on the Gov UK website.
From 6 April 2016, skilled non-EEA worker with Tier 2 (General) visas will only be eligible to stay in the UK as a permanent resident (Indefinite Leave to Remain) if they earn a salary of at least £35,000. It applies to those who have come to the UK since April 2011 with a Tier 2 (General) visa. This is known to hit nurses particularly hard. Exemptions include those who have a job in the Shortage Occupation List and people who have a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) or Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) visa. The government has also indicated that it aims to raise the minimum salary thresholds of ICT visas.
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