The Home Office’s latest Statement of Changes issued earlier this month detailed several changes to the current immigration rules. As it has been widely reported in the press, doctors and nurses have now been removed from the annual cap on Tier 2 General visas for skilled non-EEA workers.

Other amendments come into effect on 6 July, which include the following:

Residence Requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain Explained

The term ‘continuous residence’ has now been clarified. The rule used to apply to an applicant who had had absences of 180 days of more in 12 months over the five-qualifying period. From 11 January no more than 180 days absence in any 12-month period is permitted. The new guidelines will be applied to any absences that occurred after the rule change on 11 January 2018.

Returning Residents

There are now clear guidelines in place for those returning resident who have been absent from the UK for under two years, and those hoping to return to reside in the UK following a longer absence.

Whilst an absence of up to two years is generally permitted, longer absences must be supported by evidence of strong ties to the UK and that they intend to make the UK their permanent home. Previously, returning residents were required to demonstrate that they had lived in the UK most of their life.

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

The scope of this category has now been broadened to include talented people within the fashion industry who have had their application assessed by the British Fashion Council, and a wider pool of those working within TV and film, whose application will be considered by Arts Council England.

Amendments also include:

  • a new category for Turkish workers and their dependants who previously could not apply for indefinite leave to remain
  • the right for Afghan citizens who had been ‘locally engaged’ in UK military campaigns to be allowed to come to the UK with their immediate family members, free of charge.
  • changes to the rights of unaccompanied refugee children who qualify under
    the ‘Dubs amendment’