The Government has announced a number of changes to the Immigration Rules that will take effect on 1 October 2013. The stated aim of the changes, most of which are fairly minor, is to provide greater flexibility for businesses and applicants. The changes most likely to be welcomed by employers include:

  • removing the English language requirement for intra-company transferees;
  • expanding the permissible activities a business visitor can undertake to include internal audits and corporate training where it is provided by a company outside of the employer's group of companies; and
  • allowing business visitors to undertake some study where this is not the main purpose of their visit.

Other changes include:

  • waiving share ownership restrictions for some senior staff;
  • allowing Tier 4 graduates who have completed their degrees in the UK to switch into a 12 month internship under Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange), provided it directly relates to their degree; and
  • an update to the list of sports governing bodies for Tiers 2 and 5. 

For full details of these changes see the latest Statement of Changes on the UKBA website.