On 10 July 2014 the Home Office published a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, with some provisions which will come into effect as from today, 11 July 2014.

These changes will implement restrictions on the ability of those already present in the UK as a Tier 4 (Student) or Tier 1 (Post Study Work) migrant to make an in-country application for an extension of stay as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur). In a Ministerial Statement the Immigration Minister has claimed that the majority of those applying in-country for leave in the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category are those who have come to the UK for the purpose of study and are making speculative or fraudulent applications in order to extend their stay in the UK. The Home Office investigation has extended to checking tax records which suggest that few have gone on to engage in genuine entrepreneurial activity, and that a significant proportion have taken employment in breach of their conditions, typically at low skill levels.

Those applicants who have submitted an application for leave to remain before 11 July 2014 will not be affected by the new provisions and will have their application decided under the Rules in force on 10 July 2014. 

The new provisions will not affect those applying to switch from Tier 1 (Post Study work) who have already established a business in the UK and can provide sufficient evidence of their entrepreneurial activity. Nor will they affect those qualifying on the basis of seed funding or funding provided by another government department, as these applicants will already have demonstrated the necessary credentials as an entrepreneur in order to secure this funding.

The Immigration Rules also now clarify that Entrepreneurs are prohibited from working for another business under a contract of service  as an employee or as an apprentice. 

English Language Tests

Other changes will remove all tests provided by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and specific tests provided by Cambridge English and Trinity College London from the list of approved English tests, with effect from 1 August 2014, however, transitional provisions will apply. Entry clearance applicants may rely on these tests if they make their entry clearance application before 22 August 2014. Leave to remain applicants may rely on these tests if they make an application before 1 August 2014.

This follows the recent removal of the ETS TOEIC and TOEFL English tests which we wrote to you about on 11 June 2014 and 20 February 2014.

Other Changes

The changes also include significant amendments affecting human rights claims and appeal rights against deportation and removal. For more information about other changes, please click here for a link to the Statement of Changes.