Immigration Update: Special Visitor Concession for those Attending the Olympic Games

26 January 2012

Certain individuals who have been accredited and received an Accreditation Card for the 2012 Olympic or Paralympic Games from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) may enter the UK as a special visitor in order to attend the events, without a visa.  These accredited individuals include athletes, umpires, technical and support staff, broadcasters and others associated with the Games.  Collectively, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has termed these individuals ‘Olympic or Paralympic Games family members’ for these purposes.  These individuals may seek permission to enter the UK without a visa between 30 March 2012 and 8 November 2012, for a maximum of 6 months and the period must end on or before 8 November 2012.

If these individuals are required to come to the UK before 30 March for a reason related to the Games, they will need to apply for an Olympic/Paralympic visit visa.

Visa Application Services Suspended in a Number of Countries

Due to IT maintenance taking place on 3 February, it will not be possible to submit visa applications via the Visa Application Centres in a number of countries.  For full details please refer to the attached list.

Online Services to Replace Phone Lines for Postal Biometric Appointments

From 1 February 2012 postal applicants will need to book biometric appointments online.  Before an appointment may be booked, it will first be necessary to register by creating a customer account.  It is likely that this will be applicant specific and not employer and so all applicants will need to create their own customer account.  Kingsley Napley will provide further details of the process once this is known.

Abolition of Tier 1 Post Study Route

This is just a reminder that the Tier 1 Post Study route will close in April 2012 to all new applicants.  The UKBA has proposed that students will have the option to apply for a Tier 2 General visa following graduation, without the need for a resident labour market test, and so this should go some way to ameliorating the situation for students and employers alike.  Your usual Kingsley Napley representative will update you on the proposed changes once full details are known.

For more information, please contact: Nicolas Rollason

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