Proposed Changes in the Immigration Laws of UK


The United Kingdom has set forth certain laws and procedures to regularise the process of immigration for any individual who wishes to travel or settle in the country. A number of laws are passed over the years that have been compiled into the Immigration Rules of the country. These rules span all visa categories including the work visa, business visa, visitor visa, investor visa etc. To know about how to get UK citizenship through investment the laws should be studied well. The laws related to immigration such as United Kingdom citizenship by investment etc. have been subjected to changes over the years. As different situations arose, changes relevant and suitable to the situations had to be made. The changing laws brought diversity in the regulations governing the immigration to Britain. Some of the rules for investment immigration UK that have been altered are mentioned in this article. These changes were proposed recently in 2013.

Proposed changes for the Acquisition of Knowledge about the language spoken in Britain

A statement of intent was enunciated by the Home Office on the 8th of April 2013. The statement of intent gave a plan about the amendments that were to be proposed in the immigration process. The amendments were to have an impact on those who intended to shift to Britain or gain the citizenship of the United Kingdom from the 28th of October 2013. So for any kind of immigration such as the investment immigration UK will not be possible without following the rules. Similarly, these changed rules should be followed by those wanting the United Kingdom citizenship by investment. Anyone who wants to view the complete policy paper may be able to view it on the following website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/knowledge-of-language-and-life-in-the-uk-for-settlement-and-naturalisation-statement-of-intent.

It is mentioned by the Home Office as a requirement for the people applying for immigration and belonging to the above mentioned two categories to give a manifestation of an average rated skills in English language and speaking at B1, CEFR or any test that has an equivalent worth.

As far as those people who intend to submit an application for an unmeasurable leave to either remain or settle in the United Kingdom or those who intend to apply for gaining the citizenship of Britain naturally are concerned, they are obliged to give and pass the tests for both, the national language of England and life requirement. They have to keep giving the tests unless they are given exemption from the tests. The following link of the UKBA webpage provides information regarding how to attempt the test http://lifeintheuktest.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk.

Rules Restricting the Rights of Appeal for the Family Members

The government of the United Kingdom made an announcement that upon the approval given by the Parliament and the Royal consent, it had been decided to abolish the full right given to the family members for making an appeal for the visit of their family if the request of visit visas had been declined. This announcement was made on the 9th of July 2012. 

Later, on 25th of April 2013, it was announced by Home Office that the Royal consent had been taken for a provision given in the Crime and Courts Bill, that was published on the 10th of May 2012. It gave an allowance for the change that had to be brought to get implemented. The amendment that was to be made expectantly, was get implemented and become effective under the Crime and Courts Bill on 25th of June 2013 or after that. The amendment states that as the right for appealing against the refusal of visit visas has been taken away, the applicants will be allowed to submit new applications stating about the failure of the applications that they submitted previously and the issues regarding the rejection of visas in the new applications will be entertained.

Amendments proposed in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

It was again announced by the government of the United Kingdom in April 2012 that there were some changes brought in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment Offenders Act 2012. The amendments would commence from the spring of 2013. However, they would become effective in the later part of the same year expectantly. These changes are present in the 139th Section of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment Offenders Act 2012.

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 it is permissible for some persons that are convicted for any criminal, to be considered as rehabbed when a certain duration passes and they are also allowed to be considered as having “spent” their convictions.

Spent Convictions

A conviction is termed to be spent if it can be subjected effectively to negligence after the passage of a particular span under the regulations outlined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The span that has to passed is dependent upon the given sentence and not on the extent or type of offence.

An ease is intended by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 for those involved in any offence by offering them a chance for the abandonment of their wrong actions. This is made possible by allowing the persons who are involved in any conviction and they have spent their convictions, to keep it concealed from the prospective employers. Moreover, the employers are not given the permission to reject the employment of any person on ground of the convictions that he has spent.

However, there may be exceptional situations where this facility cannot be benefitted from by the offender. It is mandatory to keep the employer informed about the number of convictions whether spent or yet to be spent in the following scenarios:

  • When the job is related to children
  • When the person has to work with adults that are vulnerable
  • When the person applies for any job related to the law
  • When the job is related to pharmacy or healthcare
  • Or the application is for the post of senior manager in some particular divisions
  • When the job is related to the national security

These exceptions are mentioned in detail in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions) Order 1975. It is also known as “Exceptions Order”.

Current Periods particularised for Rehab 

  • For fines, the current period is five years.
  • For imprisonment spanning from lesser than six months to six months, it is seven years.
  • For an imprisonment of a duration of two and a half years, the rehab period is ten years.
  • If the imprisonment spans up to 30 months or more, the rehab period is never considered to be spent.

The periods specified in the above mentioned points are reduced to half if the convicted person has an age lesser than 18 years. The periods of rehab may vary for cases that are not very serious in nature as in absolute release, order of probation, releasing conditionally, attendance centre orders, orders for secure trading and custody in a remand home.

Changes Expected to be brought in the Act regarding the Rehab Durations

  • For fines: Rehab period is 1 year.
  • For an imprisonment of 6 months or a lesser duration the Rehab period is 2 years.
  • For an imprisonment spanning 6- 30 months, the rehab period is expected to be 4 years.
  • For an imprisonment from thirty months to four years is expectantly 7 years.
  • Offences greater than four years is expected to be considered as never spent.

As far as the periods are concerned for the convicted persons under the age of 18 years, they have not been subjected to any change. After the completion of the years sentenced, the person has the allowance to not reveal about the convictions that he has spent in the lawsuit of crime or any civil proceedings. He may also conceal the convictions if he intends to apply for jobs or any insurance.

Requirement of Good Character for Immigration

For immigration to UK as investor a good character is a requirement. It has been made mandatory from the 1st of October 2012, that all the people who are applying for an immigration to the United Kingdom or for the nationality have to mention all the convictions that they have been through in their applications. These convictions may also include convictions that are minor such as offences regarding traffic and driving drunk. However, fixed penalty notices are excluded. If the applicant has been through proceeding where verdicts against the applicant were given, the details of all such proceedings should be mentioned in the application. If there are any convictions that are unspent, the result may in the form of rejection of the application.

Persons Exempted from the requirement

Some of the people might be exempted from the requirements mentioned in the previous subheading. They are listed as:

  • The minors who are under the age of ten years at the time of submitting the application.
  • The persons who being stateless are applying via form S1, S2 or S3.
  • The persons who an overseas citizen of Britain, subject of Britain or a person under the protection of Britain and applying via the form of B(OS).

To know more about the convictions either or unspent, the following pages may be accessed:

LASPO: The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act of 2012

The Royal consent was granted to The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act of 2012 i.e. LASPO on the first of May in 2012, making it a law. There were great amendments brought in the clauses as well as the expanse of lawful aid.  Majority of the reforms introduced by LASPO commenced on the first of April in 2013. The abolishment of Law service commission was done under LASPO. The legal aid agency was created as a replacement to the law service commission. The legal aid agency is an executive agency belonging to ministry of Justice. This agency has imposed restrictions on the eligibility of the persons and authorisation of the persons for aid that is legal. The people who are given benefits related to the income are not any more authorised automatically to have any lawful aid. The limit of the rate of capital for any person has been amended by LASPO for the allowance of legal aid. This has resulted in an increment in the month to month contributions made by the claimants regarding the 30% of income owned by the claimant that can be disposed.

The expanse of cases has been subjected to reduction under LASPO. As a consequence to this reduction, most of the work related to the immigration will not get any coverage by the aid lawfully. However, there is an exception for the people who are having a detention in immigration and the people who are involved in cases related to torture or any claim relevant to the Refugee Convention. If any person does not fall in the any of these categories, he will not be able to benefit from the legal case unless he proves his case to be exceptional. Any case may be termed as an exception if under the European Convention on the rights of human, there is a violation of the basic rights of any person. For any further information about the rules of legal aid given by LASPO, go to http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/10/contents.

Someone who plans for immigration to UK as investor must be well acquainted about the rules related to the immigration.  The blog suggests the possible changes that have been made and that are to be made by in the laws related to immigration. The laws related to language requirements have been subjected to changes. Similarly, laws regarding visit visa applications for family and rehab periods have been subjected to changes over the years via different acts.