The following changes have, as of today, been introduced:
- A new criminality threshold, excluding migrants from settlement if they have unspent convictions.
- A new income requirement, requiring Tier 1 (General) migrants to meet the same income criteria that applied when they last extended their permission to stay in the UK. Migrants who have been in Tier 2 (General) or Tier 2 (Intra company transfer), or who have held work permits, must be being paid the appropriate rate as stated in the code of practice.
- Amendments to the English language requirement. Tier 1 and 2 migrants must now pass the Life in the UK test rather than an ESOL with citizenship course.
- An accelerated route to settlement for Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants who meet the new enhanced criteria
The UKBA has today launched a new list of approved English Language tests for:
- applications under Tiers 1, 2 and 4 of the points-based system; and
- applications by spouses and partners.
There are transitional arrangements in force but all existing lists of English language test providers will be replaced by the new list. The full new list can be viewed here.
Today Parliament approved the Remedial Order that will abolish the certificate of approval (“COA”) scheme. On 9 May 2011 the scheme will be abolished.
Following Parliamentary approval, new immigration fees will be introduced from Wednesday 6 April 2011 for foreign nationals applying to visit, study, work or settle in the UK, and for employers and education providers applying for a sponsor licence.
The new fees were announced on 28 February by Immigration Minister Damian Green. Applicants and representatives making an application on or after 6 April 2011, will need to ensure that they enclose the correct fee. The UKBA will return any applications where an incorrect fee is paid.
You can find a list of all the new fees here.