Read about the latest immigration changes and news which may affect you.
Proposed Changes to the Immigration Rules
On 8th December 2017 the government published a statement of proposed changes to the immigration rules, which will come into effect on 11th January. We do not yet know the details of how these rules will be implemented, or whether they will affect all students or just those that made applications after a certain date. UKCISA has published a summary of these changes. The key changes are:
- Students who undertook a period of Study Abroad or work placement will be exempt from the academic progression requirements so will be able to apply in the UK. We do not know yet if this will apply immediately, or only to those who obtain visas in the future.
- Those on Short Term Study visas will be required to leave the UK within 30 days or their course finishing, or at the end of their visa, whichever is sooner.
- Students who have been offered a job in the UK will now be able to switch to Tier 2 once they have completed the course, instead of having to wait for confirmation that they have passed. Again, we are not sure if this will apply to everyone or will be implemented gradually.
Problems for Chinese students submitting applications to ATAS
Chinese students should be aware that the ATAS team has started to notice a lot of ‘undeliverable’ messages from various different Chinese email servers since mid-February, specifically: 126.com, 163.com, sina.cn, and qq.com. The ATAS team would be grateful if students using these email providers would let them know if they are aware that a decision on an ATAS application submitted on or before 15 January 2017 is still outstanding. Students should also consider using Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail or similar commercial email providers, if possible.
EEA students and comprehensive sickness insurance
The government has recently clarified that EEA national students and their family members living in the UK must have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. This means that you must either have a European Health Insurance Card (obtained from your home country) if you are here temporarily, or comprehensive private medical insurance. Further guidance can be found on UKCISA website.
Overstaying: end of the 28 day grace period
The 28 day grace period allowing those who overstay their immigration permission to have their applications considered has been abolished for applications made on or after 24 November 2016.
Robert Goodwill, the Minister of State for Immigration made a statement accompanying the new rules on 3rd November 2016 to both Houses of Parliament. He explained that:
We are also abolishing the ’28-day grace period’, during which we currently accept out of time applications for a range of routes including work and study, to encourage greater compliance with the Immigration Rules. This will make clear that people must comply with the Rules and make any application for further leave before their current leave expires.
It has been replaced by a more restrictive rule allowing an application to be made ONLY within 14 days of the expiry of their immigration permission BUT only where the Home Office accepts that the applicant has shown a “good reason” beyond the applicant’s control for the making of a late application.
The consequences of overstaying can be very serious including that you
- are unlikely to be issued with a new CAS
- are committing a criminal offence by remaining;
- cannot lawfully work and rent accommodation; and
- become subject to an exclusion from the UK if the total period of overstay exceeds 90 days.