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EU Settlement Scheme  and the latest changes to Immigration Rules

EU Settlement Scheme and the latest changes to Immigration Rules

Friday 12th October 2018
Montecristo LLP - Immigration

The Home Office has published a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules yesterday (11 October 2018). There are many welcome changes, such as submitting more flexible requirement on submitting passport and original documents etc. We summarise the main changes to be aware of, especially the next test phase of the EU Settlement Scheme. These changes will come into force on in November 2018.

EU Settlement Scheme

1. Second pilot phase
From late August 2018 Home Office started its first phase of testing of the EU Settlement Scheme with staff from 12 NHS Trusts and 3 universities in the North West. This small pilot tested the process and functionality of the application in a live environment which was successful. The new phase of the EU Settlement Scheme pilot will open on 1 November 2018 and will run until 21 December 2018.
The number of participating organisations will increase significantly, with staff in the higher education, health and social care sectors across the UK included in this phase. Vulnerable people with additional support needs are also going to be included in this phase, with the involvement of a small number of local authorities and community organisations.
Find out more details of who will be eligible to apply during this second phase please click here.

2. The right to Administrative review
It will be available to the applicant whose settled status application is refused on the basis that they do not meet the eligibility requirement and those who are granted limited (pre-settled).

Compare with the other administrative reviews, it is better in many ways: The application will not be considered withdrawn if an applicant leaves the UK while the administrative review is pending, and it back be submit from either inside or outside of the UK; The deadline to apply is 28 days which is longer than the other administrative reviews; The applicants can also submits the additional documents in support of the administrative review which were not available to the decision-maker at the time of the decision, and the reviewers can request further supporting documents, which can only be done in rare circumstances for other administrative reviews.

3. The family members of certain British citizens will be eligible to apply for status under the scheme with that of family members of resident EU citizens. These are the family members of British citizens who have returned to the UK having exercised their free movement rights in the EU, where the family members are lawfully resident in the UK by virtue of regulation 9 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/1052).

Double the Immigration Health Surcharge proposal

The plan to double the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is set to come into effect in December 2018 subject to Parliamentary approval.

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was introduced in 2015. It applies to migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to stay in Britain for at least six months. The proposals would see the surcharge increase from £200 to £400 per year for non-EU nationals, with students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme on the discounted rate of £300 per year.
These changes do not affect permanent residents, who are not required to pay the surcharge. Certain vulnerable groups such as asylum seekers and modern slavery victims are also exempt.

Changes to the general visa application process/valid application

For making a valid application under the new application process in relation to the applicant making an appointment to attend in person to enrol their biometrics and submitting the required documents in support of their application.

The applicants in the UK applying to extend their stay or apply for citizenship will be able to submit key documents and personal information in a more flexible way. The ambition is that most applicants will apply online. The process will also remain for receiving applications on paper for routes where there is no online application form.
UKVI will no longer generally handle physical evidence when considering a case, so the majority of applicants will be able to retain their passport, and all applicants will be able to retain their supporting evidence as part of the application process.  However, where the application is pending, travel outside the Common Travel Area will mean that statutorily extended leave will lapse. The requirement to provide original documents is being removed and copies can be provided. as it can be difficult for applicants to obtain original documents, especially if they need to be obtained from overseas, the requirement to provide original documents is being removed and copies can be provided. Applicants will no longer need to submit passport-size photographs. Paper forms can only be used if submitting the application by post.

Changes relating to Tier 4 of the Points Based System

The list of subjects which require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate is updated. The majority of the changes seem to reflect a technical change of name by the Higher Education Statistics Authority rather than a change in the subjects. These changes will take effect on 1 January 2019 for decisions made on or after that date. Full list can be found in here under Changes to Appendix 6.

Changes to the medical exemption procedure for the Life in the UK and English language tests

Applicants must provide if they want a medical exemption from the requirement to pass the English language or the Life in the UK tests. People must provide a copy of the template form from Home Office and completed by a doctor who is either:

a. the applicant's GP or a GP based in the practice with which the applicant is normally registered; or

b. a General Medical Council (GMC) registered consultant

This doctor must have "met with the applicant in person, assessed their ability to fulfil the requirements set out in the appendix".

Specifying the format of the request in a template provides an opportunity for the specified medical professional to understand better the nature of the test the migrant would be expected to take. This will assist medical professionals in making judgements as to whether they can support exemptions.

At Montecristo LLP, our immigration Lawyers have extensive experience advising businesses and individuals on every element of immigration matters.
We are committed to remaining up to date with all developments relating to the immigration rules, so we can provide you with the most practical and reliable advice and support when applying.

Please contact an immigration solicitor at Montecristo LLP - call +44 (0)20 7448 3034, email info@montecristollp.com or use our online contact form.