Changes to the Immigration Rules: HC895, 15 March 2018

UK Visa Fees

The Secretary of State initiated certain changes to the Immigration Rules with the purpose to: (i) Ensure that an asylum claim can be deemed inadmissible, and not be substantively considered by the UK, if, another EU Member State has already granted the claimant international protection; (ii) make changes and clarifications to the Immigration Rules relating to family life; and (iii) make the annual update to the list of Permit Free Festivals.

The below specific changes to the Immigration Rules shall take effect on 6 April 2018.

Changes relating to asylum claims

The change to Part 11 is being made to provide that an asylum claim will be deemed inadmissible, and will not be substantively considered by the UK, if another EU Member State has granted either refugee status or subsidiary protection (known collectively as international protection). This change is in line with both the UK’s established policy on safe third countries, and the EU’s objective in reducing the
secondary movements of those granted international protection.

Article 25(2)(a) of Council Directive 2005/85/EC on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status (“the Procedures Directive”) permits a Member State to apply the principle of inadmissibility to asylum claims in certain circumstances.

The rule change is made further to the Procedures Directive, in line with the stated aim of the European Union to limit secondary movements of applicants for international protection.

The UK has operated a safe third country policy for many years. Broadly, this means the identification of circumstances in which an individual has arrived in the UK and sought international protection, but where there is an alternative country that would be regarded as capable of granting sufficient protection. This policy is a key element of the UK’s asylum policy and allows the UK to prevent misuse of the asylum system.

Changes relating to family life

To clarify, in Appendix FM, that those on a 5-year route to settlement must meet all eligibility requirements, including the immigration status, financial and English language requirements, at every application stage including where indefinite leave to remain is sought after five years, in order to be granted leave under these Rules.

Changes relating to visitors

Appendix 5 to Appendix V comprises a list of events that are Permit Free Festivals. Permit Free Festivals are events that are assessed as contributing to the cultural heritage of the UK and at which performers can, exceptionally, be paid for their participation as visitors.

Visitors cannot normally receive payment from a UK source for any permitted activities they undertake here. The list has been updated for 2018/19.

Immigration Assistance

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