A package of measures was published by the Home Office last week in their Statement of Changes to the Immigration rules (HC1025). The majority of these changes will come into effect on 6 April 2015.
Power to recall those in the UK with limited leave for interview
Caseworkers will be given new powers to require persons in the UK with limited leave to remain to provide evidence and/or attend an interview to show that they continue to satisfy the Immigration Rules. Failure to provide evidence or attend an interview could result in curtailment. This is a change to the current system, as applicants cannot be compelled to attend an interview.
Changes to administrative review
On 20 October 2014 the ability to apply for administrative review was introduced for in country Tier 4 applicants, enabling them to challenge the decision on their application for leave to remain. From 2 March 2015 administrative review will be available for decisions on all Points Based System tiers where the application was made on or after that date. In addition to correcting casework errors in leave to remain applications, administrative review will be available from 6 April 2015 for certain decisions to cancel leave at the border and refusals of entry clearance overseas.
Changes relating to valid applications
From 6 April 2015 applicants within the UK will be required to provide an original, valid passport, travel document or (unless the applicant is a Points Based System Migrant) national identity card in order to make a valid application for leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain. An applicant will be exempt from this Rule if, for example, they are stateless or a refugee, or if they have a good reason beyond their control for not providing the document.
Changes relating to grounds of refusal
A new power is being introduced to enable the government to require an entry clearance applicant to provide a criminal record certificate from any country they have resided in for twelve months or more in the last ten years. This requirement will be rolled out on a phased basis. There will be a number of exceptions for those aged under eighteen years old or where it is not “reasonably practicable” because the country does not produce certificates. Guidance will be published in due course on which applications this will apply to and on how to obtain a certificate.