On 11 October 2018 the Home Office published a new Statement of Changes, which will be incorporated into the consolidated version of the Immigration Rules. There is some welcome news such as there will no longer be a need for caseworkers to see the original documents and there will be more flexibility to allow caseworkers to write to applicants asking for missing documents. However, sadly, some news is less welcome, such as a prospective increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge fees.
Changes as of 1 November 2018
Paragraph 34 of the Immigration Rules will be amended to reflect the introduction of a new in-country application process. A new online submission system will be introduced. The process of applying in paper form will remain where there is no online application form.
Applicants will no longer be required to provide passport size photographs.
The new changes will provide more flexibility for caseworkers so that they are able to provide additional time to applicants for providing missing documents.
The changes also allow for the applicant’s ID to be returned while applications are pending. However, where applicants leave the Common Travel Area while an application is under consideration, the leave will lapse.
Applicants who wish to apply for a fee waiver would need to make a fee waiver application first, before making an application for leave to remain. If the request is successful and an application for leave to remain is submitted within 10 days from the decision on the fee waiver application, the date of the application will be the date when the request to use fee waiver is submitted. Should the fees waiver application to be refused, applicants may still submit an application accompanied by the relevant fees as long as it is submitted within 10 days from the Home Office’s decision on the fee waiver application.
Appendices A, C, E and H
The changes are being made to clarify that those applicants, who are subject to different documentary evidence under Tier 4 of the PBS listed in Appendix H, can now apply from the country where they are living. Their dependents can also apply from the location where the main applicant’s application is submitted.
The second trial phase of the EU Settlement Scheme will run from 1 November until 22 December 2018 allowing applicants who are employed or work at one of the 15 NHS Trusts or 3 Liverpool Universities to apply for residence documents under Appendix EU.
In addition, amendments have been made to clarify the rights of “Surinder Singh’s” family members in line with rights of the family members of EU citizens.
The new changes also provide further clarity on what documents are expected to be submitted from an applicant who wishes to claim an exemption from meeting the requirements under this paragraph on medical grounds.
Appendix AR (EU)
A new Appendix AR(EU) has been introduced for applicants whose applications have been refused under Appendix EU to apply for an administrative review.
The wording of paragraph SN1 has been amended to clarify that an Administrative review is defined under Appendix AR and the newly added Appendix AR(EU).
Changes as of 5 November 2018
The new changes give flexibility to children transferred to the UK from Calais in the period from 17 October 2016 to 13 July 2017 and who do not qualify of international protection, to apply for leave to remain in the UK relying on new paragraphs 325I to 325X of the Immigration Rules.
Changes as of 15 November 2018
EU applicants who work or are employed at a higher educational institution or are an overseas higher education applicant, which is classified as such on the Tier 4 Register of Licensed Sponsors, would be able to apply under Appendix EU.
Changes as of 29 November 2018
EU applicants who are employed or work at one of the participating organisations in the health or social care sector in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales would be able to submit their applications under the EU Settlement Scheme.
Changes as of 1 January 2019
There are some technical changes have been introduced to Appendix 6 to reflect the way how academic courses in the UK are recorded.
The new changes have also been introduced to help applicants to meet evidential requirements. Throughout the Rules, all references to provide “original” documents were substituted with “a” or simply deleted. This meant that copies of the documents can be submitted in support of an application instead of the originals.
Lastly, as of December 2018 the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is likely to be increased from £200 to £400 per year of visa per applicant.
Should you have any questions regarding the upcoming charges please do not hesitate to contact us.
Please note that the information on this page is for general purposes only and is not intended to replace legal advice.