New rules for UK visas coming into effect
United Kingdom, 29th February: New UK visa rules will become effective in the coming months. .
Online UK visa application process--Under these UK visa norms, foreigners hailing from Fiji, India and Papua Guinea will be required to make online application for UK visas with effect from 5th March, 2012 onwards. Other rules for UK visas will be increased fee for processing of UK visas.
These will come into effect on 6th April, 2012.
UK biometric cards--The UK government has already announced extending the UK Biometric cards for a range of immigrants wanting to stay in the UK for a period extending six months.
The plan by the UKBA (UK Border Agency) aims to make the UK BRP (biometric) cards process efficient and to control misuse of UK immigration rules. Announcing the new step, the UK immigration minister Damian Green had stated that all immigrants including refugees will be provided UK biometric cards.
These UK biometric cards will help in verifying the identity of the foreigners through facial recognition as well as fingerprints. This will facilitate various employers in the UK for verifying the legal UK immigration status of potential workers before hiring them.
UK bans non-English speaking foreign spouses—The UK has already announced a ban on arrival of non-English speaking foreign spouses wanting to join their partners in the UK.
The UK immigration rules require spouses to possess ability to speak English if they want to come to the UK for living with their partners. The UK High Court ordered the requirement of English speaking as quite reasonable for anyone wanting to stay in the UK.
Skilled immigrant workers to lose right to permanent settlement in the UK—In yet another move by the UK government, each year, nearly 40,000 skilled immigrant workers will be losing their right to stay and work in the UK beyond a period of five years.
As per reports, the UK Home Secretary Theresa May intends to removal of skilled immigrant workers earning lower than £35,000 annually from the UK. It is being hoped that a change in UK settlement rights for skilled immigrant workers will help in bringing the UK immigration levels to ‘tens of thousands’ by next elections.