NEWSLETTER No. 30 – September 2010

UNITED KINGDOM – ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST FOR PARTNERS

The UK government have announced English language tests for partners / spouses will be introduced from 29 November 2010.

The introduction of such a test was announced following the new government’s election to office.

From this date, any migrant who wants to enter or remain in the UK as the partner of a British citizen or a person settled here will need to show that they can speak and understand English, by taking an English language test. The test will be with one of the approved test providers – such as IELTS, TOEFL etc….

The new rules will apply to anyone applying as the husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner, same-sex partner, fiance(e) or proposed civil partner of a British citizen or a person settled in this country. They will be compulsory for people applying from within the UK as well as visa applicants from overseas.

Some applicants will be exempt – such as those from “majority English language countries” – this will include those countries designated as such for the Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa categories.

Applicants should be aware of the introduction of the test if looking to apply after 29th November.

UNITED KINGDOM – FUTURE IMMIGRATION POLICY

The UK Immigration Minister Damian Green has made a major policy speech on immigration. The speech seems to be aimed at an overall tightening of the immigration system with particular emphasis on student numbers.

The Minister queries the legacy of the previous government’s immigration policy and asks strong questions on students remaining in the UK for lengthy periods, the effectiveness of skilled immigration and the proposals for an immigration cap.

Obviously the current government are only at the start of their 5 year term so policy announcements such as this are common at this time. We will closely monitor and report on immigration changes as they are unveiled.

UNITED KINGDOM – CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL TO MARRY

The government have announced their intention to abolish the “Certificate of Approval to Marry” scheme.

This is the process where non UK / EU citizens need to apply for permission to marry in the UK. The Certificate of Approval scheme has been controversial since its introduction a few years back and has been subjected to much scrutiny by the courts.

The government are stating that the;

“scheme is incompatible with Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and changes made following rulings from the courts have weakened the scheme, and it is no longer an effective method of preventing sham marriage”.

Although the scheme is still in operation, it will be abolished in 2011, depending on how quickly it can be removed through Parliament.

This is a positive development in removing a simplistic and discriminatory piece of legislation which caused more problems than it solved.

AUSTRALIA – NURSING UPDATE

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) has revised its frequently asked questions (FAQ) and explanatory notes on English Language requirements.

The new version dated 17 August, means that applicants who have completed secondary schooling and a nursing or midwifery qualification in English are now only required to provide evidence of their English language education. They are no longer required to sit the English language test (IELTS) and achieve a score of 7.

This is a significant policy change that will be welcome news to many applications applying for registration.

HOWEVER – it is important to remember that the NMBA only deal with registration for Nurses who are able to work in Australia – i.e. have a work or residence visa etc… Most overseas applicants will still need to go through the assessment process with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) to apply for residence. The ANMC still retains the IELTS test as a compulsory requirement for ALL nurses.

If you are a Nurse looking to move to Australia then contact us through our website for specialist advice.

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