UKBA Clarification for Tier 4 Sponsors

In response to queries from sponsors, the UKBA has today produced a document clarifying certain aspects of the current review of the student immigration stsyem. The document answers some frequently asked questions raised by sponsors in the following areas:

  1. educational oversight and accreditation
  2. Highly Trusted Sponsor status
  3. the interim limit
  4. contact details for enquiries about the sponsorship management system
  5. post-study work
  6. immigration officers’ discretion to refuse
  7. dependants
  8. maintenance and low-risk countries
  9. academic progression

New EEA Application Forms

The UK Border Agency has today released revised EEA1, EEA2, EEA3 and EEA4 application forms. The revised forms (version 06/2011) should be used for all applications made on or after 20 June 2011.

New versions of the BR1 application form (used by Bulgarian or Romanian nationals who want to apply for authorisation to work in the UK) and policy guidance have also been released.


Proposals For Breaking The Link Between “Temporary” And “Permanent” Migration Announced

Migrants coming to the UK to work on “temporary” visas will no longer be able to apply for settlement, under proposals announced by the government today.

Launching a public consultation on reforms to the work routes leading to settlement, Immigration Minister Damian Green set out plans to re-classify visas as either ‘temporary’ or ‘permanent’ and introduce stricter criteria for those who want to stay:

The proposals I am making today are aimed at breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration. Settlement has become almost automatic for those who choose to stay. This needs to change. The immigration system has got to be made to work properly. We want the brightest and best workers to come to the UK, make a strong contribution to our economy while they are here, and then return home.

A small number of exceptional migrants will be able to stay permanently but for the majority, coming here to work will not lead automatically to settlement in the UK

Key proposals under consideration in the 12 week consultation are as follows:

  1. re-branding Tier 2 (the skilled worker route) as “temporary”, ending the assumption that settlement will be available for those who enter on this route;
  2. allowing certain categories of Tier 2 migrant, for example those earning over £150,000 or occupations of a specific economic or social value to theUK, to retain an automatic route to settlement;
  3. creating a new category into which, after three years in the UK, the most exceptional Tier 2 migrants may switch and go on to apply for settlement;
  4. allowing Tier 2 migrants who do not switch into a settlement route to stay for a maximum of five years with the expectation that they and any dependants will leave at the end of that time;
  5. introducing an English language requirement for adult dependants of Tier 2 migrants applying to switch into a route to settlement;
  6. restricting the maximum period of leave for Tier 5 Temporary Workers to 12 months; and
  7. closing or reforming routes for overseas domestic workers.