Immigration Alert: Important update from the UK Border Agency: Clarification on Proposed Changes to the Tier 2 Cooling Off Period

6 December 2012

Following our update on the proposed Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules which we dispatched on 22 November, Kingsley Napley has received clarification from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) regarding the changes to the Tier 2 cooling off period.

The proposed change means that the 12 month period during which a Tier 2 migrant must remain outside the UK can commence from the date the migrant actually leaves the UK, rather than the expiry date of the visa or the date the UKBA cancels the visa.

The UKBA has clarified that the following evidence would be acceptable:-

  • Travel tickets or boarding card stubs, coupled with a Sponsor Management System report from the sponsoring employer, confirming the Tier 2 migrant’s employment in the UK has ended;
  • Exit or entry stamps in the migrant’s passport which confirm that they were no longer in the UK; or
  • A letter from the migrant’s overseas employer confirming the date they started work overseas, after returning from the UK.

Where someone switches into another category, their leave in the new category should supersede their previous leave. Therefore the cooling off period would start from the date of switching.

Changes to the Requirements for Biometric Residence Permits 

Following the roll out of Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) to all in country visa applicants from 29 February 2012, there were some visa applicants who had already submitted an application prior to this date who were not caught by this new requirement.

From 1 December, all those applicants who have an outstanding application which pre-dates 29 February will now need to supply the UKBA with their biometric data. The UKBA will be writing to all affected applicants with details of how to apply for a BRP. This is to ensure that from 1 December the UKBA only issues this new format of immigration status document.

BRPs are replacing older forms of documentation and the new format is helping employers and other bodies to check the immigration status and entitlements of foreign migrants.

For more information, please contact a member of the immigration team.

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