Monday, September 23rd, 2013 at
Changes to ‘knowledge of language and life’ requirements and application details
A reminder that from 28th October 2013, unless they are exempt, all applicants for settlement or naturalisation as a British citizen will need to meet the knowledge of language and life requirement by:
• passing the life in the UK test; and
• having a speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 CEFR or higher, or its equivalent.
Trinity College GESE grade 5 exam is the equivalent to this English language B1 test.
For an application for British citizenship to be considered under the pre 28th October government requirements, the application will need to be received by UK Visas & Immigration by Friday 25th October 2013 (the last working day before the change). Please note they do not receive a postal delivery on Saturday or Sunday so be sure to allow plenty of time to get your application in.
There is more information on the gov.uk website – see announcements about Borders and immigration by UK Visas and Immigration
Saturday, September 7th, 2013 at
More Changes to the Immigration Rules
There are important changes afoot for immigration rules. Yesterday, Friday 6th September 2013, a written ministerial statement was laid in Parliament outlining a number of changes to those Immigration Rules.
The changes, which are planned to come into effect on 1st October 2013, will mean greater flexibility for businesses and workers and include:
- removing the English language requirement for intra-company transferees;
- making it easier for graduate entrepreneurs to switch into Tier 2;
- waiving share ownership restrictions for some senior staff; and
- allowing some students to work as interns under the Tier 5 government authorised exchange scheme.
Tourist and business visitors will benefit from the following changes:
- Allowing tourists and business visitors to do some study where it is not the main purpose of their visit.
- Expanding the activities a business visitor can do in the UK.
- Removing the prospective student route.
Further changes include:
- expanding checks to ensure applicants for work and student visas are genuine, and that they intend to meet the conditions of leave they apply for;
- introducing powers to refuse Tier 4 extension applications where the applicant cannot speak English;
- introducing a scheme which allows some locally engaged staff in Afghanistan to relocate to the UK;
- setting new youth mobility scheme quotas for 2014;
- enabling those who demonstrate exceptional promise in the arts to apply under Tier 1;
- changes to the way we handle settlement applications for refugees who have committed crimes, and adding the power to curtail leave for persistent or serious offenders;
- introducing temporary Immigration Rules so participants and personnel can come to the UK during the 2014 Commonwealth Games;
- minor changes and clarifications to the Immigration Rules, including those relating to family life.
From 28 October there will also be changes to the way applicants for indefinite leave to remain are required to demonstrate their knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK. Applicants will need to pass the Life in the UK test and also an English Language Test at an exam centre. The Trinity college speaking and listening B1 test, GESE grade 5 is an approved exam for this purpose.