New visa changes now in place for UK

by Ray Clancy on October 7, 2013

A number of immigration rule changes are now operational in the UK that offer greater flexibility for businesses and workers.

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Applicants must use new visa application forms for a number of different visa tiers

The changes, which came into being at the beginning of October, include the removal of the English language requirement for intra-company transferees and making it easier for graduate entrepreneurs to switch into Tier 2.

They also waive share ownership restrictions for some senior staff and allow some students to work as interns under the Tier 5 government authorised exchange scheme.  Tourist and business visitors will also be allowed to study where it is not the main purpose of their visit.

There has also been an expansion in the activities a business visitor can do in the UK and further changes affect points based system and family routes, and include provision for participants and personnel of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

There are also new visa application forms for a number of different visa tiers and officials are warning applicants that they must now use these new forms. The visas involved are Tier 1 including exceptional talent, investor, graduate entrepreneur, entrepreneur and general. Also affected are Tier 2 priority, priority dependent and main applicant and others are Tier 4 general and Tier 5 temporary worker.

‘Applicants should use the new forms if they apply on or after 01 October 2013. However, we will continue to accept applications made on previous versions of these forms up to and including 22nd October 2013,’ said a UK Border Agency spokesman.

All these forms are for use by applicants who are already in the UK. A new version of the application form for applicants who are in or outside of the UK has also been published for Tier 1 exceptional talent endorsement.

The agency has also confirmed global contracts for its visa application centres overseas for next year which have been awarded to VFS Global and Teleperformance Ltd.

Teleperformance will be responsible for applications through centres in Europe and Africa and VFS Global in Australia, Canada, South Asia, Pakistan, the Gulf region, China, Taiwan, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

‘The new contracts will begin in 01 April 2014 and will allows us to offer more services in more locations across the world, making it easier for people to apply to come to the UK. More information will be available in early 2014,’ the agency spokesman confirmed.

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