Yesterday, UKBA laid several important changes to the Immigration Rules before Parliament, as part of its initiative to reduce net migration.
All of these rules will come into force on 31 October 2011, with the exception of the provisions for Olympic Family Member Visitors, which take effect from 30 March 2012.
• Anyone owing the NHS £1,000 or more will normally not be allowed to enter or remain in the UK until the debt is paid off. It is hoped that the £1,000 threshold will capture 94 per cent of outstanding charges owed to the NHS.
• The NHS will provide information enabling the UK Border Agency to identify the debtors when they apply to return to or remain in the UK, and subsequently UKBA can refuse their applications. However, medical information will not be supplied.
• Migrants in the Tier 2 and Tier 2 (ICT) routes and work permit holders will need to provide supporting documents to show they are earning a minimum amount before they are granted settlement.
Olympic Visitor Visas
• UKBA has created two new categories of visitor visas:
1. the Olympic or Paralympic Games Family Member Visitor
2. the Olympic or Paralympic Games Family Member Child Visitor
These will be available for athletes, umpires, technical staff, media staff and others accredited by The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
• Furthermore, certain holders of the Olympic Identity and Accreditation Card and the Paralympic Identity and Accreditation Card will be exempt from visa requirements during the Accreditation Period of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (30 March 2012 to 8 November 2012).