Written statement to Parliament

Changes to the Immigration Rules (June 2011)

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This written ministerial statement was laid in the House of Commons on 13 June 2011 by Damian Green and House of Lords by Baroness Browning

This written ministerial statement was laid in the House of Commons on 13 June 2011 by Damian Green, and in the House of Lords by Baroness Browning.

My Rt Hon Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House a statement of changes in the Immigration Rules that will bring about the second of the changes to the student visa system, which the Home Secretary announced on 22 March, and were set out in detail in the statement of intent published on 31 March.

The changes will take effect on 4 July and will tighten the rules on the entitlements of students to work and bring dependents, and will tighten the requirements around maintenance funds and require students to show academic progression to get a further visa. The new rules also introduce a streamlined application process for low risk students.

I can also confirm that we are publishing the impact assessment for the changes to Tier 4 on the UK Border Agency website, and I will arrange for a copy to be placed in the House Library.

The Home Secretary has previously announced that from the end of 2012 all Tier 4 sponsors will need to have had a satisfactory inspection or audit by one of a number of specified bodies who are involved in the regulatory framework for educational standards in the UK. I am pleased to be able to inform the House that the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) have agreed in principle to extend their remits to carry out additional inspections to cover privately funded providers. Further information is available on the UK Border Agency website.

This statement of changes also includes changes to the Tier 4 rules to extend the list of courses where an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate is required from the counter-proliferation department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

We are also making some minor amendments to rules laid on 16 March on intra-company transfers and maintenance funds so they achieve the intended policy intention.

There are also minor changes to the immigration rules laid on 1 October 2010 in respect of the English language requirement for spouses and partners of British citizens and persons settled in the UK.

Lastly, the government is also making new provisions in Part 8 of the Immigration Rules to allow other dependent family members of refugees with limited leave in the United Kingdom to join them from abroad. Currently, only those who have indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom are able to sponsor their other dependent relatives from abroad and those refugees with limited leave must make their applications outside of the rules and these are considered at the Secretary of State’s discretion. We want to ensure that refugees with limited leave have the same opportunity to sponsor their other dependent family members as those coming through the normal route and this will also include a requirement that they be able to maintain and accommodate them.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Date: Mon Jun 13 10:52:00 BST 2011