The new year brings new changes to immigration rules and January 2018 has brought a raft of new changes to immigration rules in the UK. In this article we look at the changes individually and try to address what they mean going forward for migrants in, or considering moving to the UK in the foreseeable future. We also look at where we think the future lies for the routes in question.
The changes this year are rather small and are more of an interim update to the rules than a large scale overhaul. Expect major changes next year after negotiations are concluded between the UK and the European Union as to the terms of Brexit. We will then have a much clearer picture of what the UK intends to do with migration for the long term and whether it can produce a system capable of reflecting the new needs that the country will have.
While the visa route itself has not changed, the Home Office has changed some of the wording around the recycling of funds (the use of proof of funds being used by more than one applicant), this closes a current loophole and is not intentioned to do anything else.
Expect rule changes like this to continue as the British Government continue to refine the visa routes and potentially make huge changes going forward to try and stave off some of the more worrying effects that Brexit could bring to the UK and in particular immigration. The likelihood is that the Tier 1 routes will actually receive greater incentives so that wealth creators in these areas are free to help to build businesses and positively affect the economy moving forward.
Good news for this visa route in 2018 as the annual quota has been doubled to 2,000 places. They will be allocated on a first come first served basis to qualifying applicants. This doubling is very welcome as it encourages the best and brightest to come to the UK and ensures a healthy supply of well qualified migrants to the UK. Moving forward, the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa is likely to be expanded even further to try and capture even more talent in the UK.
Exceptional talent visa holders will now also qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain after three years rather than the usual five. These changes mean the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa will be even more in demand than ever. Though as a very specialised route, it is only ever going to have so many people who qualify for it and is therefore self-limiting. The calibre of the migrants via this route is first class and it is little wonder that the British Government seeks to have more of them come to live and work in the UK.
Tier 4 students will no longer need to pass their course before switching to a Tier 2 General Visa. This change is a welcome one and will help many superb students stay in the UK. The students will still need to prove that they have completed their course but can apply for a job and gain sponsorship before receiving their results, this gives them far more time to make arrangements for their life after studying.
This is a very welcome change in this area, the short time between receiving results and getting a sponsorship means that many students are in limbo over their future and it is unknown how many will simply choose to go home rather than risk overstaying in the UK and affecting their future chances of coming back to the UK in the future.
Another new feature for 2018 is a new Electronic Entry Visa system that replaces the current vignette system. The system will be piloted to begin with and then rolled out to become a common method at the point of entry.
The UK is currently trying to refine border controls in order to speed up processing and enhance efficiency at the border. The level of technology that is now available means that border control is a lot easier to manage now than it has ever been and UKBA are taking full advantage of it.
One of the more worrying aspects of the 2018 immigration changes is to PBS dependents. From Jan 11 2018 PBS dependents cannot be away from UK more than 180 days in a year as it will have a detrimental effect on an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
This worrying change means that there will be wholesale changes to the lives of many who are not permanently based in the UK and will need to consider being here permanently in order to maintain their rights to stay in the country in the long term. These sort of changes are to be expected as part of a process that is refining the current rules to remove loopholes to the current system as it stands today.
With Brexit due to take place in 2019, expect a lot more changes than have been made this year. With a lack of clarity on the future of EU migrants, expect a raft of changes that address the needs of those who are already here and a way of catering to new arrivals from the European Union.
There are likely to be major changes to Tier 2 General Visas and although there is nothing going through Parliament, the Conservative Government will need to try and find a way to balance the needs of the country with the changes that Brexit will undoubtedly bring to the UK and importantly to immigration. Immigration is still the biggest issue of the Brexit negotiations and there is nothing like an agreement on the future of immigration between the UK and the EU at this point.
481 ReviewsREAD ALL REVIEWS
Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
Indefinite Leave to remain - UK Settlement and
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Citizenship Application - UK Naturalisation
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
Spouse Visa - Appeals and visa refusals
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
Immigration Visa - Citizen of United Kingdom
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
UK Settlement Visa
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife�s UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
Cheap Immigration Lawyers in London
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Top Notch Immigration Service
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
Best Immigration Solicitors
I used Reiss Edwards� immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
Indefinte Leave to remain - Individual Immigration - UK Settlement
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
Tier 2 Visa application - UK Work Visas
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.