Several new rules and laws have been implemented into the United Kingdom over the past several months, primarily in the area of immigration. These were needed so as to place new restrictions on the visa route for entrepreneurs in response to scams from individuals and organised criminal groups.
Equality Authorisation 2014
On October the 13th 2014, James Brokenshire, the Minister of State for Immigration and Security, made a ministerial authorisation that will allow citizens of India and China, under the Transit Without Visa Concession (TWOV), to pass through the United Kingdom on their way to the Republic of Ireland. In order to qualify for this transit, individuals need to hold a short stay visa from Ireland and satisfy the criteria of the TWOV with no additional requirements.
The governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland are working closely on this so as to protect the security of the external border of the Common Travel Area, which is a travel zone comprised of the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man. There are minimal or non-existent controls on the internal border of the Common Travel Area.
This is being done so as to prevent individuals who intend to harm those in either country from entering while also enabling free movement for those who are lawfully able to do so. This authorisation will also facilitate tourism to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland so that Indian and Chinese citizens can more easily obtain transit visas.
Immigration Act Commencement And Statement Of Changes In Immigration Rules
This is a reform also made by James Brokenshire, the Minister of State for Immigration and Security, to make it easier for foreign criminals to be deported and build upon the important reforms that have already been made in this area.
With the introduction of this reform, when a decision has been made that their deportation is for the benefit of the public, criminals will no longer have the ability to appeal this decision. They can only appeal if they face a real risk of serious irreversible harm and then will only have the right to appeal once.
This reform will also change the appeals system for students. A new system of administrative review will ensure that case work errors be correct within 28 days rather than 12 weeks, so as to attract immigrants who may benefit from the universities and businesses in the United Kingdom.
Other reforms are being made so as further enhance security and strengthen the government. These include dealing with abuse so as to increase the status of the United Kingdom as an excellent place to do business.
Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Ireland
The Home Secretary has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Ireland to strengthen the Common Travel Area.
This Memorandum of Understanding will allow Ireland and the United Kingdom to share data and exchange information which will be used for making immigration decisions and enable visitors from China and India to travel more easily between the two countries while the security and the strength of the borders is maintained.
This will be known as the British-Irish Visa Scheme. The two countries will also be working on visa policies and processes, sharing watch-list information and passenger data and facilitating greater pre-entry and entry checks. The first beneficiaries of the scheme will be visitors from China and India, who will be able to visit Ireland and the United Kingdom on a single visit visa. India and China are important markets for tourism in Ireland and the United Kingdom and the hope is that over 10,000 visitors will use the scheme.
Amendments To Fees For Immigration And Nationality Services
James Brokenshire, the Minister of State for Immigration and Security, also announced changes in some fees for immigration and nationality applications made to the Home Office. These fees are reviewed on a regular basis and are typically set at or below the cost of processing the applications for which they are made. Some of the changes are being made to support provisions in the Immigration Act of 2014 while one fee has been changed to support economic growth.
Highlighted in the document listing the fees are the transit visa for applications made outside of the United Kingdom which will be reduced from £40 to £30 and a new administrative review to be rolled out in late 2104 which will be £80. Most of the amendments will become effective in order to align with changes in processes.
As you can see, the government is forever making changes to the rules set in place. That is why it is important to always read about changes, and prevent yourself from getting on the wrong side of the law!