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changes to immigration rules

15 October 2018

The government have announced a number of changes to the Immigration Rules, some of which are detailed below:

Changes relating to the EU Settlement Scheme

The Government has announced phase 2 of the testing of the proposed EU Settlement Scheme (“the Scheme”).

Under the Scheme, EU citizens and their family members who are resident in the UK, will be able to apply for settled/pre-settled status. The Scheme will begin when the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 but to date there has been a first phase private pilot which tested components of the online application process with selected applicants from the NHS in the North-West. As this reportedly proved successful, the government now intends to implement phase two, which intends to test the online process as an integrated end-to-end process. This phase will run from 1 November to 21 December 2018 with staff in the higher education, health and social care sectors across the UK being included.

Additional changes to the Immigration Rules in respect of the Scheme include:

  • Aligning the basis upon which family members of certain British citizens will be eligible to apply for status under the Scheme with that of family members or resident EU citizens; and
  • Entitling the applicant to request an administrative review of a decision under the Scheme.

It is hoped that this second test phase will ensure the Scheme will operate as effectively as possible when it is fully opened in March 2019. For further detail on the Scheme click here

Other Changes

Changes to the Immigration Rules also include:

  • Supporting the operation of a new application service for visas by amending the Rules on the requirements for a valid application. The intention is to build on UKVI’s digital application platform;
  • Providing more clarity on what is expected of someone asking requesting an exemption, on medical grounds, from Knowledge of Language and/or Life in the UK requirements.

All of the aforementioned changes will come into effect on 1 November 2018 but if you have any questions in respect of the changes or the Scheme in general then get in touch with one of immigration team members.

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