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New Rules for Tier 1 and Tier 2 and other changes to the Immigration Rules

On 6 April the UK Government will make significant changes to Tier 1 and Tier 2 of the points-based system, as well as to marriage visas for members of the armed forces, asylum and English for Speakers of Other Languages. The changes were announced today by Borders and Immigration.

The Government has accepted changes to Tier 1 recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee

(MAC), and has set out further details of how it will implement changes the MAC recommended to Tier 2.

The changes include new points tables for Tier 1 and Tier 2, a simpler route for very highly skilled workers without Master’s degrees, greater flexibility for short-term transfers by multinational companies, and more protection against such transfers being used to fill long-term vacancies that should go to resident workers.

These changes are included in the latest Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules, which was laid before Parliament today.

Other changes to the Immigration Rules include:

  • changes to the provisions governing English language qualifications for applicants applying for permanent residence to ensure that applicants relying on qualifications in English for Speakers of Other Languages will study at accredited colleges, and to clarify the progression which migrants are required to demonstrate before applying for permanent residence;
  • changes to prevent asylum applicants from claiming humanitarian protection where there are serious reasons for considering that they have engaged in undesirable behaviour;
  • clarifying interview procedures for unaccompanied asylum seeking children;
  • removing a requirement for an asylum seeker to be asked to sign the interview record due to other safeguards in place;
  • lowering the marriage visa age to 18 for serving members of the armed forces and their partners, recognising the role of partners in supporting those on the frontline and reflecting the unique circumstances in which the armed forces operate;
  • and adding Monaco to the Youth Mobility Scheme.