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New changes to UK family migration (An update on the changes to take effect from the 6th of July, 2018)

With brexit on the horizon, the British government has decided to make some changes to immigration law. Most of these changes have come about via pressure from the news media. With Britain's immigration picture looking increasingly complicated, moves have been made to try and help the process along. Below we will look at the changes that were implemented on the 6th of July 2018.

1. The Removal of doctors and nurses from quotas

Recently it has been in the news that many doctors and nurses were having applications turned down to come to the UK in order to live and work, this caused a media sensation and the government rightly decided to remove these specialist professions from the monthly quotas. Britain already has a major shortage of medics and the visa process was only exacerbating the problem. The decision will be seen as a good sign of Britain choosing to change the rules in order to fix its potential future problems.

In the future Britain will require an influx of qualified medics to help with the long-term growth of its National Health Service (NHS). As one of the country's biggest employers, the NHS will need to continue to grow as Britain's population grows. The increasingly long life spans of people will also become a major issue in the future due to the specialist needs that come with a large elderly population. Bringing in more highly qualified medics can only be good news for the under pressure health service.

2. A new application route for vulnerable children who do not qualify for international protection (asylum or humanitarian protection) to nonetheless be granted leave to remain in the UK

This is indeed another rule that has been affected by stories in the news media. With significant problems in countries such as Syria causing a huge displacement of people, especially children, the UK has been under pressure to help give protection to children from these countries. it is hoped that this change will now help those children who desperately need it.

The British government has come under significant criticism for its failure to help so far and it is hoped by campaigners that these moves mean that the UK intends to follow up on its promises to help these children, many of whom have been left with nothing at all by years of civil war in their countries.

3. A new application route for Afghan interpreters and their family members who have moved from Afghanistan to the UK

This is yet another news media issue that has been fixed. When it came to light that interpreters who had worked alongside the British army in Afghanistan had been offered the option of moving to the UK, there was a positive response, this option was later revoked which caused outcry. The Afghan interpreters had been an integral part of the British effort in the country and it was seen as a welcome gesture to offer those who had made all the difference. The British government has now attempted to put this right with a new visa route.

The UK has a long history of helping foreigners who have helped the UK in wars abroad. But in recent years the government has reneged on many of these promises (like to the Gurkhas). This now hopefully means that the UK will now do the right thing by these interpreters, many of whom risked their lives for the UK in Afghanistan by doing vital work in opening dialogue.

4. Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) has been opened to include leading fashion designers as well as increasing the types of TV and film applicants as endorsed by ACE

The opening of the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route to fashion designers is seen as a positive step. There is no doubt that the UK is at the cutting edge of the fashion industry and welcoming exceptionally talented individuals to come to the country can only be seen as a positive step. The British Fashion Council will asses applications for fashion designers under the endorsement of Arts Council of England (ACE).

The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa route has also been opened to a wider pool of TV and FIlm applicants. The visa offers the holder the ability to remain in the country for 5 years, after which they can apply to remain in the country with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

5. The introduction of more countries in the streamlined Tier 4 Student application process

The move to a more streamlined application processes for would-be UK bound students has now been extended to 26 so-called "low risk" countries. This has caused some consternation in India, which as a Commonwealth country with a large number of English speakers, has been left out. Countries such as Thailand and Mexico now form part of the group who will now find the process easier for their youngsters to move to the UK to study. The process relaxes some of the documentary evidence requirements and has smoother the process.

In the future, Britain's education institutions will need an influx of foreign students to help balance the books. Foreign students often account for a significant amount of money that comes into these institutions as they pay much larger sums to attend than domestic students. The move will be seen positively as an attempt to keep the UK at the forefront of global higher education.

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If you have been affected by any of these immigration law changes or just need someone to discuss your immigration queries with then please get in touch. Our highly experienced team of immigration solicitors can help to assess your case in order to help you get the best outcome for you and your family. Call today and we can get started on your case and help you to reach a resolution to your issues.

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