In this month's visa news: Irish visas accepted at UK ports of entry, removal of appeal rights and right to rent immigration checks for landlords.
On 6 October 2014, the Home Secretary signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Ireland to strengthen the Common Travel Area. The first project to benefit from this new agreement is the British-Irish Visa Scheme which will allow Chinese visitors to travel to the UK and Ireland on a single visit visa. The scheme will start in China and Hong Kong by the end of October and will extend to India at a later date. It is hoped that more than 10,000 visitors will use the scheme.
For more information, please read UKVI's guidance on British-Irish visa scheme.
On 16 October the Minister for Immigration announced changes to the Immigration Rules.
Amongst the changes that were announced it is the rules relating to the removal of appeal rights that will affect students. All applications made in the UK from 20 October 2014 will no longer attract the right of appeal, instead students (and their dependants) will need to apply for an Administrative Review. Any applications submitted before 20 October will retain the right of appeal even if the decision is made after 20 October.
Unlike Administrative Reviews (AR) overseas, a request for AR in the UK will cost £80. Appendix AR in the Immigration Rules lists the decisions that are eligible for an AR request.
Students should be reminded not to make an application until they are satisfied that they meet all the requirements. Students may find the UKCISA website helpful.
Following the announcement of the pilot regions for the immigration checks, the Home Office has created guidance on right to rent immigration checks to help landlords decide whether they need to carry out immigration checks on tenants or lodgers.
Whilst homestay families cannot be exempt from the rules, it is possible according to the guidance to delegate the responsibility of the checks to a third party. Member centres could therefore act as the agent.
The scheme will run on a pilot basis in selected areas from 1 December 2014. Checks in other regions will not be required until the roll out date is announced by the Home Office. Immigration checks will only need to be made on new students (aged 18 and over) arriving from 1 December 2014.
English UK is liaising with the Home Office on an exemption for host families where the contract for accommodation is between the school and the host. More on this to follow.