UK government makes changes to its immigration system
2008-11-26 13:52:13

The UK government is implementing a number of changes to its immigration system this week, the British High Commission announced today.

From today onwards the government will start to issue identity cards to foreign nationals making applications in the UK to stay as a student or based on marriage. However, this does not yet apply to people making visa applications in Sri Lanka, the High Commission said in a press release.

The remaining text of the press release is as follows:

"The identity card will be introduced gradually over the next three years for all those coming to the UK for more than six months or extending their stay in the UK.

On November 27 the government will also introduce:
Tiers 2 and 5 of the Points Based System
and an increase in the marriage visa age

These changes will affect applications being made in Sri Lanka from November 27.

The Points Based System will be expanded with the launch of Tier 2, for skilled migrants with a job offer and Tier 5, for temporary workers and youth mobility. The current work permit scheme will become part of Tier 2. Tier 5 covers those travelling temporarily to the UK for mainly non-economic reasons, including sportspeople, entertainers, charity workers and thsoe travelling under international aggreements. The government will also launch a new single generic Youth Mobility Scheme. The provision will abolish six existing youth mobility schemes, including the Working Holiday Maker Scheme.

The introduction of the new Business Visit Visa on November 27 will clarify the business activities that can be undertaken by holders of this visa.

From November 27 both parties to a marriage will have to be at least 21 years old before a marriage visa can be issued. This is part of the government's action against forced marriage. This complements the introduction today of new legislation to protect the victims of forced marriages."

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