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Immigration: UK Border Agency’s policy changes under scrutiny

15 October 2010

October 2010 has seen the UK Border Agency pushing forward its agenda while trying to fend off strong criticisms to its policy changes. Amongst the most important ones, a substantial increase in the fees structure which is to be implemented in two stages as well as a series of Statements of Changes. In particular, the Parliament has been asked to consider what steps should be taken to enforce the rules that require students coming to study in the United Kingdom to have an intermediate, rather than elementary level of English. The Immigration Minister, Damian Green, has publicly expressed concerns in relation to the number of migrants who initially entered the UK as students and end up remaining in the UK or applying for settlement under the long residence category. It is also rumoured that the long residence might be removed from the Immigration Rules.

In addition, the English language requirement for dependant spouses and partners including applicants who wish to enter as a fiancées or proposed civil partners will be introduced on 29 November 2010. Nationals of a majority English-speaking countries or who have a degree taught in English will meet the English language requirement automatically. Any other applicant will need to take a test except when  they can provide satisfactory evidence to demonstrate one of the following (1) they are aged 65 or over at the time they make their application or (2) they have has a physical or mental condition that would prevent them from meeting the requirement or (3) there are exceptional compassionate circumstances that would prevent the applicant from meeting the requirement.

Finally, the Parliament will be presented with a motion to regret the Statements of Changes regarding the interim measures/caps for Tiers 1 & 2 applicants pending the introduction of a permanent economic migration cap in April 2011. These Statements were brought into effect on 19 July 2010 limiting the number of applications to be made under the Tier 1 General Scheme and the ability of UK sponsors to issue certificates of sponsorship (CoS) for foreign workers under the Tier 2 Scheme. UK companies have been vocal in expressing their disapproval having been severely affected in the ability to conduct their business through the recruitment of foreign workers.  Further, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has also sought a judicial review of the Coalition government's decision to issue a temporary caps.

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Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.