ByHS Immigration Consultants

New Home Office fees

Like every year the Home Office increased their at the beginning of April. The good news is the increases weren’t as bad as they usually are, for example an application for leave to remain on the basis of family life has increased from £993 to £1,033. You can see the full details here.

ByHS Immigration Consultants

Reduction of appeal fees

Some good news – the massive increase in appeal fees in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal has been reversed. The fees for lodging an appeal in the First-tier Tribunal have gone back to the old rates:

  • £80 for a hearing on the papers;
  • £140 for an oral hearing

Anyone who was unlucky enough to have to pay the higher fees of £490 and £800 will receive a refund for the difference. It is possible that the fees will increase again in the future but for the time being this is some good news!

ByHS Immigration Consultants

Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules

On 3rd November 2016 the government announced a number of changes to the Immigration Rules. The complete  Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC667 can be viewed here. The Statement of Changes is 76 pages in total but there aren’t too many substantive changes to the Rules. The ‘highlights’ are:

  • Abolishing the 28 day permissible period of overstaying. Previously a person would not be penalised if they overstayed for 28 days or less before submitting an application to the Home Office. This has now been reduced to 14 days. In addition to reducing the period allowed to 14 days they Home Office have said that there must be a good reason beyond a person’s control why they did not make the application in time. Also, if a person’s application (which was made in time) is refused or treated as invalid they now only have 14 days to resubmit their application. The consequences of submitting an application more than 14 days late (and without good reason) are that a person’s leave to remain will lapse. If they are subsequently granted further leave to remain there will be a break in their continuity of leave effecting when they can apply for settlement.
  • Changes to the English language requirement. This affects people applying for an extension of leave to remain after 2.5 years under the 5-year route to settlement in Appendix FM. Those people will now need to take, and pass, an English test at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This applies to partners and parents whose current leave under the family Immigration Rules is due to expire on or after 1 May 2017.
  • Changes to Tier 2 visas. The following changes are being made to certificates of sponsorship assigned by Tier 2 sponsors on or after 24 November 2016:
    • Increasing the Tier 2 (General) salary threshold for experienced workers to £25,000, with some exemptions
    • Increasing the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) salary threshold for short term staff to £30,000
    • Reducing the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) graduate trainee salary threshold to £23,000 and increasing the number of places to 20 per company per year
    • Closing the Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) skills transfer sub-category.
  • Changes to Tier 4 visas. A number of changes are being made, including amendments to the academic progression rule, maintenance requirements for the Doctorate Extension Scheme and evidence of overseas qualifications, UK qualifications used as evidence, and a series of minor and technical adjustments.

It is very important that anyone affected by these changes ensures that they plan ahead to make sure they meet the new provisions or make their applications in time.