The UKBA has published a Statement of Intent document, outlining changes to the Immigration Rules. These proposed changes to the Immigration Rules will be laid before parliament on 15th March 2012 and, if passed, will come into effect on 6th April 2012.

The maintenance requirements currently in place have not been reviewed since their introduction in 2008. The UKBA has now decided that these amounts should be increased, in line with the rise in cost of living in the UK.

Currently Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), Tier 1 (General) and Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) applicants need to show at least £2,800 for Entry Clearance applications and £800 for leave to remain applications. These minimums will increase to £3,100 and £900 respectively.

Tier 1 Dependants currently need to show maintenance of at least £1,600 if the main applicant has been in the UK for less than 12 months and £533 in all other cases. These minimums will increase to £1,800 and £600 respectively.

There will continue to be no maintenance requirement for Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) applications.

Currently Tier 2 and Tier 5 applicants need to show maintenance of at least £800. This minimum will increase to £900.

Tier 2 Dependants currently need to show maintenance of at least £533 in all cases. From April, dependants will need to show maintenance of at least £1,800 if the main applicant has been in the UK for less than 12 months and £600 in all other cases.

The UKBA confirms that for main applicants, A-Rated sponsors will continue to be able to certify maintenance. We await clarification on whether this will continue to be the case for dependants.

We understand that individuals applying from 6th April 2012 will need to meet the new maintenance requirements. The UK Border Agency has not yet announced whether there will be any transitional arrangements.