On Monday, 10 June 2013, the new Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 244 was published. These changes are due to come into force on 1 July 2013 and largely relate to:
- the Points-Based System (PBS);
- family Immigration Rules; and
- tuberculosis (TB) screening.
The Points-Based System
In addition to minor housekeeping and typographical errors, the following changes have been announced:
- changes are being made to the Resident Labour Market Test for the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) category and the Religious Workers sub-category of Tier 5 (Temporary Worker);
- the rules for dependants of Tier 4 (General) Students are being restructured to ensure they clearly reflect the established policy and practice;
- changes are being made to reflect the types of documents issued by test providers of approved English language tests; and
- an update is being made to the list of legal courses that are exempt from the Tier 4 time limit on study.
Family Immigration Rules
Further to some clarifications and minor corrections through the family sections, the following changes are being made to Appendix FM and Appendix FM-SE:
- allowing a pension paid by another government department or agency to be counted in the same way as the State pension paid by the Department for Work and Pensions; and
- counting cash savings in a pension savings account held by the applicant or their sponsor, whatever their age.
This Statement adds:
- China (settlement cases only), Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Hong Kong (settlement cases only), Indonesia, Macau (settlement cases only), Malawi, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia to the specified countries;
- authorised clinics in the aforementioned countries; and
- a new authorised screening clinic in Cote d’Ivoire.
Since the publication of the Statement of Intent, the Home Office has confirmed that it plans to 'stagger rollout' by category for China, Hong Kong, and Macau. This means that the Home Office will start TB screening with settlement applications from 1 July 2013 and look to extend it to PBS categories later in the year.
The full Statement of Changes can be read here.