Yes another Statement of Changes – HC 565 – has been laid and (hold your breath), most of it comes into force… today! I am grateful to Alison Harvey at ILPA, whose hard-work is truly immeasurable: an e-mail was sent out at 11pm last night alerting members to this following another member (and not the UKBA) bringing it to her attention. We seem to have a repeat achievement from the 19th July Statement of Changes which came into force the day after: I checked the UKBA website this morning and this current Statement was only laid yesterday… Sigh… (again)
Needless to say that we haven’t managed to go through the whole statement yet but for the moment, it seems to be largely about “clarifying” previous errors/lacuna/bad drafting and incorporating more lists.
At a glimpse, the major features are as follows:
- Family members: In the words of the Explanatory Note, the Statement “clarifies the drafting of some aspects” of Appendix FM and FM-SE (the evidential requirements applicable to Appendix FM for the new family member rules) and more importantly incorporates provisions in Part 8 of the Rules (the old family member rules) to allow applications, where relevant, to be considered under Appendix FM. For example, if the application for ILR under Part 8 was to fail. The benefit of this (as far as I can see) is that the exception EX1 from Appendix FM can then be applied (see here for a bit more detail on EX1).
Long Residence and Private Life: clarifies the drafting of 276A-276BE as they deal with applications for leave to remain on the basis of private life and makes additional transitional provisions in relation to Part 7 of the Rules.
Tier 4 (General) Students: The mandatory information that Sponsors/colleges must provide on a CAS has been incorporated into the Rules.
Family members of PBS migrants: Clarification that transitional arrangements apply so application made prior to 9th July are not subject to the new changes and incorporates changes relevant to partners of PBS migrants who have since qualified for settlement.
There are plenty more changes relevant to the visitor categories, where, for example, the list of approved accreditation and inspection bodies for institutions where child and student visitors can study has been incorporated and the lists of permissible activities that business, sports and entertainer visitors can under/partake in have also been amended.
As mentioned above, most of the changes are in force as of today. The rest comes into force on 1st October but this only seemingly concerns the ‘Exceptional Talent’ category of PBS Tier 1 and an amendment to the list of ‘low-risk countries’ for Tier 4.