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Statement of changes HC 1534, 11 October 2018

The main purposes of this Statement of Changes , as they are stated in its explanatory memorandum , are summarised below. However, watch this space for further, more detailed analysis.  Unless otherwise specified, the changes take effect on 5 November 2018.

EU settled status scheme

The next phase of the EU Settlement Scheme for resident EU citizens and their family members is rolled out, with new categories of person included from 1st, 15th and 29th November 2018. This second phase includes, on a voluntary basis, staff in the higher education, health and social care sectors across the UK. This phase will also include some vulnerable individuals – being supported by a small number of local authorities and community groups – in order to test the operation of the scheme for those with support needs. The Government intends to publish a report on the second private beta phase in December 2018, but this will not contain all the data collected during the first phase owing to changes in the systems being used. It is anticipated that the further phased implementation changes will be laid before Parliament in December 2018 (for implementation in January 2019), and in early March 2019, so that the scheme will be fully open by 30 March 2019.

Changes are also made to Appendix EU paras EU11 to EU14 to align the basis on which the family members of certain British citizens (Surinder Singh cases) will be eligible to apply for status under the scheme with that of family members of resident EU citizens.

Further changes are made to Appendix EU Annex 1, to reflect the operation of the second phase. Under this, an EU citizen proves their identity and nationality by using their passport (non-EU citizen by BRP) with the identity verification app for the scheme. This will check the document and confirm their identity remotely and will be an integrated part of the online application process being tested during this phase. Submission of the document by post remains possible if the digital app is unable to read the relevant information in the document’s biometric chip because this is damaged or defective. The other means by which applicants can prove their identity and nationality, set out in the current definition in Annex 1, will be restored in the next Immigration Rules changes for the scheme, which the Government currently anticipates laying before Parliament in December 2018 (for implementation in January 2019).

New appendix AR (EU)

These changes all take effect on 1 November 18.

Changes to Part 1 and Appendix SN to the Immigration Rules, and a new Appendix AR (EU) make provision for an applicant to request an administrative review of a decision (i) to refuse them leave under the EU Settlement Scheme on eligibility grounds, or (ii) to grant them limited leave to remain under the scheme rather than indefinite leave to remain.

In this AR process, any information and evidence submitted with the application for the review, including information and evidence that was not before the original decision-maker can be considered.

Under the Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/999), the existing fee for administrative review of £80 will be payable. It will be refunded if the reviewer decides that the original decision was incorrect, based on the information available to the original decision-maker.

New form of leave to remain for Calais children who joined family in the UK between 17/10/16 and 13/7/17

A new form of leave to remain is introduced for those children transferred to the UK between 17 October 2016 and 13 July 2017 as part of the Calais camp clearance to reunite with family, where they do not qualify for international protection (i.e. refugee status or humanitarian protection).  769 unaccompanied children were transferred to the UK, 549 of whom to reunite with family here. All of those children claimed asylum on arrival in the UK but a number would fall to be refused.

Those granted Calais leave, or dependants of those granted Calais leave, will receive a Residence Permit with a validity of five years. This is subject to exclusions based on the grounds of security and criminality, deception or omission of information relevant to acceptance under Calais leave.

At the end of the five-year period, if the person’s Calais leave has been renewed, they will be issued with another Residence Permit, valid for a further period of five years.

A person may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after a period 10 years’ continuous leave in the UK.

Such a Residence Permit can be revoked if Calais leave is revoked.

Those granted Calais leave will be entitled to a travel document if they can demonstrate that they are unable to obtain a national passport or other identity document that enables them to travel.

Students

Appendix 6

Appendix 6 to the Immigration Rules lists the academic subjects that require a certificate from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to be included in an application to study that subject in the UK. The Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) is changing the way that academic courses in the UK are recorded. Courses formerly allocated a Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) code will now be allocated a Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code. In addition, the FCO is updating the list of courses which require a certificate. Appendix 6 is therefore being updated to reflect these changes, which the FCO and HESA will introduce on 1 January 2019.

These changes take effect on 1 January 2019, in relation to applications from that date, with the exception that, where a, FCA certificate was requested before that date and the application thereafter, the old codes will be treated as valid on the certificate.

Appendices A, C and E

References in Appendices A, C and E to nationals who are subject to different documentary requirements under Tier 4 of the Points Based System (in Appendix H) being required to apply from their country of nationality are being amended, to reflect that they are now able to apply from the country of residence. These changes will also apply to their dependent family members, provided they are also of a nationality set out in Appendix H and are applying at the same time and location as the main applicant. This is to align with Rules changes made in the Statement of Changes of 15 June 2018 (HC 1154).

These changes take effect on 1 November 2018 in relation to applications made from that date.

Medical exemption from KOLL requirements

These changes will be in force from 1 November 2018 in relation to applications from that date.

Requests for medical exemptions are to be supported by a specified type of medical professional where the medical expert is not the primary treatment or care provider, and a template for the format of the request is provided. The stated intention is to assist medical professionals in making judgements as to whether they can support exemptions.

New application process under the Immigration Rules (other than under Appendix EU)

The following changes take effect on 1 November 2018.

Application process

The ambition is that most applicants will apply online, with assisted digital support where necessary. A process will also remain for receiving applications on paper for routes where there is no online application form. The Rules changes set out the requirements for making a valid application under the new application process in relation to the applicant making an appointment to attend in person to enrol their biometrics and submitting the required documents in support of their application.

Fee waiver

Where an application for leave to remain is made online, an applicant who wishes to apply for a fee waiver as part of that application will have to submit that fee waiver request before the application for leave, and this will be considered first. The applicant will be notified of a decision on the request for a fee waiver and will have 10 working days from the date they receive this notification to submit an application for leave.

If the application is made in time, i.e. within 10 working days, the date of application will be the date the fee waiver request was submitted. This is important because it protects an applicant’s continuing leave whilst they make their application for further leave. If the fee waiver request is granted, the applicant will be able to submit an application for leave without an accompanying application fee. If the fee waiver request is refused, the applicant may still submit an application accompanied by the relevant fee.

Request for passport return/travel outside Common Travel Area

The Rules changes clarify the position where the applicant requests the return of their passport for travel outside the Common Travel Area (CTA), or where the applicant’s passport has been returned to them pending a decision on their application. Where the application is pending, travel outside the CTA will mean that statutorily extended leave will lapse.

Evidential requirements

To support the new application process, as it can be difficult for applicants to obtain original documents, especially if they need to be obtained from overseas, the requirement to provide original documents is being removed and copies can be provided. If there are doubts about whether a document is genuine, verification rules will apply.

Evidential flexibility

The policy previously allowed for a caseworker to write once, in very precise circumstances, to request further information where an applicant had failed to provide the evidence required. These changes provide more flexibility to caseworkers regarding whether and when they may write to applicants to ask for any missing documents required, to be provided within a reasonable timeframe.

12th October 2018

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