The new Rules for the Points Based System are out. They won’t take effect until the 6th of April, and with certain limited exceptions, applications for entry clearance or leave made before this date will be decided in line with the existing Rules.
A brief overview of the Rules
In nutshell these Rules do the following:
- Create a new Prospective Entrepreneur category, for those coming to the UK to seek funding or to create a team for a new business idea;
- Create a new category in Tier 1 of the Points-Based System for exceptionally talented economic migrants;
- Close the Tier 1 (General) category in-country, other than for extension applications from migrants who are already in the UK in this category, or one of the categories (now closed) which preceded it before the introduction of the Points-Based System
- Implement changes to the Tier 1 categories for Entrepreneurs and Investors, including provisions for accelerated settlement;
- Implement changes to the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) category, including differing requirements for transfers depending on whether they are to be for more or less than 12 months;
- Implement changes to the Tier 2 (General) category, including an annual limit relating to applications from overseas, and revised minimum skill, salary and English language thresholds;
- Apply a new criminality threshold to settlement applications, requiring applicants to be clear of unspent convictions;
- Apply to settlement applications made by skilled and highly skilled migrants the income criteria that applied when they last extended their permission to stay, and to require such applicants to pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test prior to gaining settlement, except those applying under transitional arrangements;
- Bring various existing Points-Based System requirements within the Immigration Rules, further to the judgment in Pankina & others v SSHD  EWCA Civ 719;
- Reduce the re-entry ban for those who voluntarily leave the UK promptly and at public expense;
- Create an entry route for the post-flight family members of refugees and those granted humanitarian protection;
- Exempt diplomatic and special passport holders from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman from the visa requirement for visitors;
- Make a small number of corrections and technical changes to the rules.
You can access the Rules found in the Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (HC 863).