The Government has announced changes to the Immigration Rules, which will mostly come into force on 11 January.

immigration rules

Changes to the immigration rules

The changes:

  • Provide for entry clearance to be issued electronically.
  • Clarify and remove inconsistencies relating to indefinite leave to remain in the UK for main applicants and their dependants in work categories.
  • Double the number of available places in the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category and allow accelerated settlement in the UK for visa holders who are classed as ‘world leaders’ in their field after three years of continuous residence, instead of five years..
  • Consolidate and clarify the rules for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicants.
  • Introduce new Tier 2 provisions for research positions and for students switching to sponsored employment under Tier 2.
  • Take account of the commencement of the immigration bail provisions in The Immigration Act 2016, which the government proposes should come into force ‘as soon as possible’


Applications submitted before 11 January will be decided in accordance with the Immigration Rules in force on 10 January.