A number of significant changes have been announced today in a new Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (HC 532).
The new measures include:
- restrictions on the ability of those already present in the UK as a Tier 4 (Student) or Tier 1 (Post Study Work) migrant to make an in-country application for an extension of stay as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur;
- the removal (at the providers’ request) of all tests provided by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and specific tests provided by Cambridge English and Trinity College London from the list of approved English tests;
- the addition of a new 12 month ‘mathematics teacher exchange’ scheme to the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) route aimed at sharing best practice in the teaching of mathematics in schools across England and China;
- changes to Appendix FM (concerning the family and private life test) to align them with the public interest considerations in section 117B of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 which apply to decisions engaging the qualified right to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
- amendments facilitating the use of the non-suspensive appeals provision inserted by section 17(3) of the Immigration Act 2014 which allows the Secretary of State to certify an appeal in certain circumstances.
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
Tier 4 Student
Those in the UK under the Tier 4 Student category were previously allowed to switch into Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) if they were relying on at least £50,000 from either registered venture capitalist firms regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), UK Entrepreneurial seed funding competitions or UK Government Departments.
As from 11 July, these individuals will only be able to make their applications based on £50,000 from inside the UK if they are relying on either seed funding competitions or UK Government Departments. The new rules remove the ability to rely on funding from venture capitalist firms.
Tier 1 (Post Study Work)
The most significant changes in relation to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) relate to individuals who are switching into the category from the Tier 1 (Post Study Work) route. Changes include:
- the removal of the ability to switch in-country from PSW into the entrepreneur route where the applicant has £200,000 to invest or where the applicant is relying on £50,000 from a venture capitalist firm;
- a requirement to demonstrate that the business was trading prior to the implementation of these changes on 11 July 2014 (meaning that it will no longer be possible for those on PSW to switch inside the UK into Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) unless they already have a business which meets the requirements);
- the tightening up of the specified evidence needed to prove the business activity.
If you require legal advice about any of these new measures, please contact us.