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Statement of Changes HC 760 was laid before Parliament on 22 November 2012. Most changes will come into effect on 13 December 2012.

Summary of the pending changes:

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) – English language requirement to be lowered from the current C1 (advanced) to B1 (intermediate) level.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) – students will have to demonstrate funding of £50,000 from a specified source before they can switch into this category.

Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) Migrants switching to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)– clarification on interpretation of the requirement to provide services in a NQF level 4 occupation.

Tier 1 (Investor) – the rule will be amended to exclude reliance on leveraged or borrowed capital; applicants will be required to provide evidence of the source of capital both for the initial £1 million of investment funds, and any additional funds allowing applicants to qualify for accelerated settlement; clarifications will be introduced as to calculation of the qualifying period for accelerated settlement.

Tier 2 (ICT) – very senior staff with annual earnings of £150,000 or more will be allowed to remain in the UK for up to 9 years, and increase from the present 5 years’ limit.  The route will not lead to settlement.

Tier 2 dependants do not need to provide evidence of maintenance with extension applications where the main applicant is working lawfully in the UK.

Indefinite leave to remain – the rules will include provisions on permitted absences from the UK during continuous period of lawful residence leading to settlement. Up to 180 days in any of the 12 calendar month periods preceding the date of the application for indefinite leave to remain may be spent outside the UK, provided the absence was due to employment or business related reason or due to serious compassionate circumstances.

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