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Dated : 08th of October, 2012
UK opens up new visa applications via point-based system route
Under the new rule, if one has limited leave to enter or remain in UK and wish to extend visa, they must apply within 28 days of current visa expiring

The United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) has brought out a new application for student visa under the point-based system (PBS) route. Under this route, applications can be made by students who are already at UK.

New application forms under PBS have been offered for categories including exceptional talent, investor, graduate entrepreneur, tier 2, entrepreneur, tier 1 (general), child and temporary worker.

PBS route is a means of getting entry to the UK for the non-European nationals. An individual must score a particular score to be eligible for a UK visa under the different categories. Under the PBS route, points are awarded under the system for qualifications, future expected earnings, sponsorship. English language skills and available maintenance. This route is a method of regularising immigration from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

As per the new norms applicable from October, the PBS dependant form has also been replaced with 2 separate forms. UKBA has introduced a new PBS Dependant form for Tier 1, 2 or 5 dependants and PBS Dependant form for Tier 4 dependants.

As per the Immigration Rules, the old forms for PBS category would be accepted up to and including 22 October 2012.

New rules for extending visa come into effect

The UKBA has said that new rules would apply for extending a visa under the points-based system, all working and student routes, visiting routes, long residency routes and discharged HM Forces and UK ancestry routes.

Under the new rule, if one has limited leave to enter or remain in the UK and wish to extend the visa, they must apply within 28 days of the current visa expiring. The application for further leave will be refused if an individual has overstayed his/her visa by more than 28 days when you apply.

"If you have no right to be in the country we expect you to leave voluntarily and we will enforce your return if you fail to do so. Where we need to enforce someone's return they may be subject to a ban on re-entering the UK."

UKBA has also announced minor changes to the Tier 1 Exceptional talent route. It includes widening the eligibility by allowing Tier 2 (General) migrants and sponsored researchers who are Tier 5 (Temporary worker) migrants to switch into the Exceptional Talent route while they are in the UK. Further, Botswana and Malaysia have joined the list of low-risk countries, whose nationals applying for a Tier 4 student visa benefit from a streamlined UK visa application process.

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