The Minister for Immigration and Security (James Brokenshire):
The Equality (War Crimes etc.) Arrangements 2013 and the Race Relations (Northern Ireland) (War Crimes etc.) Arrangements 2013 enable me to subject applications from certain nationalities for British citizenship to more rigorous scrutiny than others for the purposes of determining whether the applicant has committed, been complicit in the commission of, or otherwise been associated with, the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.
The condition for subjecting these applications to more rigorous scrutiny is that the applicant is a national of a state specified on a list approved personally by me for the purpose of the arrangements
I have now reviewed and approved this list in accordance with our commitment to do so annually. I am satisfied that the conditions set out in the arrangements are met in respect of the countries on the list.
The arrangements will continue to be reviewed on an annual basis and will remain in force until revoked.
The entrepreneur route is intended to allow migrants to set up businesses in the UK in order to create jobs and growth. However evidence from tax records shows that people on expiring student visas are transferring to entrepreneur status under the pretence of setting up a business when they are actually working in low skilled jobs.
Entrepreneur route targeted after the closure of the post-study work visa route
Visa statistics suggest that individuals and organised criminals began to target the entrepreneur option once the post study work visa, which allowed students to stay on after their studies, was axed in 2012.
We will take firm action to protect our immigration system
Immigration and Security Minister, James Brokenshire said:
This government is building an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who abuse the system and flout the law.
Our reforms have cut net non-EU migration to levels not seen since the 1990s and slashed overall net migration by a third since its peak under the last government.
And we will not hesitate to take firm action to protect our immigration system further – particularly when there is evidence of criminals targeting what they think are weaknesses in the rules.
With the new clampdown students will only be able to switch using funds from a government-approved source, and post-study workers will need additional evidence of their business activities. In addition, those who have not yet started businesses and who do not have evidence of a genuine business will not be able to switch from the old post-study route onto an entrepreneur visa.
Security and Immigration Minister (James Brokenshire):
My Rt Hon Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House a Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules.
These changes will implement restrictions on the ability of those already present in the UK as a Tier 4 (Student) or Tier 1 (Post Study Work) migrant to make an in-country application for an extension of stay as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur).
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category is for those who wish to establish a genuine business which will generate jobs in the UK. It has, however, become clear that the majority of those applying in-country for leave in the category are those who have come here for the purpose of study and are making speculative or fraudulent applications simply to extend their stay in the UK.
Checks against the tax records of those who have been granted leave as entrepreneurs suggest that few have gone on to engage in genuine entrepreneurial activity, and that a significant proportion have taken employment in breach of their conditions, typically at low skill levels.
This shows that a robust response is required to protect the integrity of the immigration system and to make clear that systematic abuse will not be tolerated. The new restrictions on switching into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category will apply whilst we carry out further investigations into these abuses and review the route to ensure that it delivers its proper purpose, which is to help foster growth and innovation. The changes will come into force tomorrow, to guard against the possibility of any further intake of speculative or fraudulent applications.
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) remains open. Those who already have leave in the category will continue to be able to extend their stay. The new restrictions will not apply to those qualifying on the basis of seed funding or funding provided by another government department, nor, in the case of those switching from the Tier 1 (Post Study Work) route, will they apply to those who have already established a genuine business. Those who graduate here will continue to be able to apply to extend their stay under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category, which is significantly undersubscribed. Those who have a genuine intention of establishing a business here will also continue to be able to apply from overseas.
In addition, this statement of changes to the Immigration Rules will remove all tests provided by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), and specific te..
Lord Taylor of Holbeach:
With regards to the written answer I gave to my noble colleague, Lord Hylton, on 26 February 2014, Official Report columns WA264 and 265, 2 tables of data were provided in column WA265. These tables are incorrect and do not form part of the answer.
The answer should have been:
Lord Hylton to ask Her Majesty’s government how many appeals against (1) refusal of refugee status, (2) human rights claims, or (3) claims for humanitarian protection, have been made from outside the United Kingdom since the coming into force of the Immigration and Asylum Act 2002; and how many of each were successful.[HL5317]
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach):
Since 2007, our records show that 114 appeals have been lodged from outside the United Kingdom against a certified refusal of refugee status and/ or refusals of claims for humanitarian protection. One of these appeals is recorded as being successful.
i. A breakdown for the full period requested is not available due to the way that this information was recorded on our internal database prior to 2007.
ii. We are unable to break down figures that specifically relate to refusals of refugee status and refusals of humanitarian protection.
iii. We are unable to provide information on how many appeals against human rights claims have been lodged from outside of the United Kingdom as the information is not recorded centrally in one system in a way that allows us to extract the information requested.
iv. All figures given are based on internal management information and are subject to change.
v. Figures provided are up to 30th September 2013.