11th March 2016 statement of changes to the Immigration Rules

Further changes were announced today to the Immigration Rules. Most of these changes affect applications made on or after 6 April 2016, and are outlined below :

NHS debt and litigation costs

  • The NHS debt threshold is being reduced from £1000 to £500.

  • A new rule is being added to allow an application to be refused where a litigation debt is owed to the Home Office. 

Visitors

  • Introducing the Electronic Visa Waiver for Kuwaiti nationals.

  • Updates to the Permit Free Festival list for 2016/17 (which allows visitors to perform at listed festivals and receive payment). 

Students

  • Reducing the maintenance requirements for students applying for leave to remain as a student union sabbatical officer, or a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a foundation programme.

  • Allowing Tier 4 (General) students at independent schools to extend their stay from within the UK. 

Overseas domestic workers

  • Allowing overseas domestic workers to take alternative employment as a domestic worker during the 6 month period for which they are admitted.

  • Increasing the period of leave which can be granted to an overseas domestic worker, who is the victim of slavery or human trafficking, from 6 months to 2 years.

Further, more technical, changes and clarifications are also being made to the Immigration Rules, including skilled and highly-skilled work routes, overseas domestic workers, students, family and private life, public funds and administrative review.

These rule changes do not include any reforms resulting from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)’s recent reviews of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) or Tier 2. The Government has not yet announced its response to those reports.

Statement of Changes HC877