UK Immigration Outlook for the New Year: Brexit, Record Immigration Levels, and Changes to Tier 2 and Tier 4 Routes
New Year is almost here and it is shaping up to be the busiest yet for the UK Government, Home Office and UK Immigration Law in general. Decision to leave the EU is still very much on the government agenda and to date no specific information on the conditions of Brexit is publicly available.
This coincided with record level of Immigration of 650,000 for the year ended in June 2016. Second stage of changes to Tier 2 (General) category is due to come into effect in April 2017 and the government is yet to elaborate on the changes it proposed to make to Tier 4 (Student) route. In April each year the Home Office announces changes to the application fees, which were have been increasing significantly each year to date. We expect that this year’s changes will again lead to further increase in the application fees and with the aim to making the whole process less affordable.
ILR is an important step towards integrating into British society and enjoying the rights and privileges that come with permanent residency. It offers individuals the freedom to live, work, and study in the UK without any time limitations. However, it’s essential to maintain the ILR status by ensuring compliance with the immigration rules, as any prolonged absence from the UK or engagement in criminal activities can jeopardize the ILR status.
Reversal of Increased Appeal Fees: Positive News for Access to Justice in UK Immigration Cases
There are however some positive developments. In a very unexpected turn of events, the government decided to reverse its decision for the fivefold increase of the appeal fees. The increase was meant to lead to a steep reduction in the number of appeals bought forward by unsuccessful applicants. Thus, applicants who may have been unfairly refused and could have been successful at appeal would be deterred from appealing due to it simply being unaffordable, which raises important issue of potentially restricting access to justice.
However, following major opposition to the increased fees in public consultation, the government abandoned the increases and the fees will in due course revert back to the old rates and those applicants who duly paid the astounding increased fees in the few weeks of their operation, will be reimbursed. It is also thought that the Home Office may well not have been too impressed when having to pay the appeal fees in cases where the appellants succeeded in having their decisions overturned.
In the UK, a spouse visa, also referred to as a partner visa, is a specific type of visa designed to enable individuals to reunite with their spouse or partner who is either a British citizen or a settled person in the UK. This particular visa category is categorized under the Family route within the UK immigration system.