Changes to the Immigration Rules

The UK Government has today announced changes to the Immigration Rules to make things a little easier to visit the UK from certain countries and to get a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepeneur) Visa.

Passport holders of Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will be able to obtain an ‘Electronic Visa Waiver’ Document in advance of travel to the UK from 1 January 2014.  Holders of an EVW Document used and held in accordance with the specified requirements will no longer require a short-stay visa for travel to the United Kingdom. The plan is to extend similar arrangements to Kuwait later in 2014.

Tier 1 of the Points-Based System caters for high value migrants who are likely to boost economic growth. The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category caters for graduates who have been identified by Higher Education Institutions or UK Trade and Investment to establish one or more businesses in the UK. Applicants in this category must have been awarded a degree within the last 12 months. A change is being made from 30 December 2013 to relax this requirement for applicants endorsed by UK Trade and Investment, allowing them to have graduated at any time before they apply. This change is being made owing to the timing of UK Trade and Investment’s endorsing programme and because overseas graduates may take longer to reach a decision to establish their business in the UK.