The Immigration Bill has finally received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014 and will now pass into law. The main provisions which we wrote to you about on 10 October 2013 have remained intact with minor amendments.
We have highlighted below just a few of the 77 new clauses in the new Immigration Act 2014:
The controversial new requirement for private landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants to prevent illegal migrants from accessing privately rented accommodation will initially be rolled out as a pilot later this year. Employers who arrange accommodation for their staff, including migrants with limited leave to remain, will need to ensure they are fully compliant with the new regime once it comes into force.
The government has already published its response to the NHS Charging consultation on 31 December 2013, which we wrote to you about on 17 January. A health surcharge for non EEA temporary migrants is expected to be introduced by April next year.
A late amendment to the Bill added a new clause to correct a discriminatory anomaly whereby those individuals born between 1983 and 1 July 2006 to a British father who was not married to their non-British mother did not qualify for automatic British citizenship at birth. The new clause will enable such individuals to now obtain British citizenship if they have not already done so.
We will shortly send out a more detailed analysis of the other main clauses and how these are likely to impact those accessing immigration services.
Visa Processing Times Extended For Those Applying From the US
The British Consulate in New York has announced that the processing of non-settlement visa applications can now take up to five working days, even with priority service processing. For a number of years the standard processing time in New York has been 48 hours and it is not known why these applications are now taking longer. Employers and universities will therefore need to bear this in mind, particularly during the busy summer months, when applications are likely to take the full five days to be processed.