Important Immigration Updates 2018

Jan 11, 2018

The Home Office have introduced new immigration rules from the 11th January 2018. These important changes to the immigration rules prior to the usual April changes have immediate effect on your eligibility to remain in the UK.


Family members of Points Based System (PBS) migrants

Family members of PBS migrants applying in this category for the first time in the UK, will need to demonstrate their relationship with the main applicant.

The guidance recommends the following documents as evidence of cohabitation with the main applicant.

Partners (including spouses and civil partners):

  • Marriage or civil partnership certificates;
  • Bank statements;
  • Council tax bills;
  • Medical registration documents;
  • Utility bills.


  • Full birth certificate showing both parents names;
  • If you are a child dependent over the age of 16 you will also need to include:
    • bank statements; and/or
    • credit card bills; and/or
    • driving licence; and/or
    • NHS Registration document; and/or
    • letter from your current school, college or university confirming your address. This must be on official headed paper and bearing the official stamp of that organisation. It must have been issued by an authorised official of that organisation.

Residency requirement for settlement (main applicant)

  • Applicants applying for Settlement, otherwise known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) must not be absent for more than 180 days during any 12-month period over the consecutive 5-year period. This is a major change from the pre-11th January 2018 rules, which calculated absences over fixed 12-month blocks;
  • This will effect Tier 2 high earners whom are expected to travel abroad for work on a regular basis;
  • Furthermore, this is a retrospective change which will effect individuals who have traveled prior to 11th January 2018. It will ‘box in’ these individuals as the Tier 2 General route at present, only allows 6-years total for this category; however, if they are unable to apply for ILR, they will need to return to their country of origin, wait 12-months for the ‘cooling off’ period, before re-applying to return to the UK again for another 5-years before being allowed to apply for ILR.

Residency requirements for settlement (PBS Dependents)

A new introduction for PBS dependents whom must now declare any absences from the UK in the 5 consecutive years prior to applying for Settlement. Previously, PBS dependents were not expected to provide their absence history. However, from 11th January 2018 all absences will be taken into account. Please note: this has not been introduced retrospectively, and only applies from 11th January 2018.

Good news for Students:

The Home Office has taken a lenient approach towards Tier 4 (General) students switching to Tier 2 (General). Previously students were expected to have obtained their degree certificate prior to applying for the switch into Tier 2 (General). However, now they can apply to switch in country upon completion of their course without having to wait for their degree certificates.

Should you have any questions on the above; please do not hesitate to contact the team at Migrate UK.