A number of changes to the Immigration Rules came into effect on 1 October 2012.
New Rules for Visa Extensions
New rules have come into force for anyone applying to extend their visa under the points-based system, all working and student routes, visiting routes, long residency routes and discharged HM Forces and UK ancestry routes.
A person with limited leave to enter or remain in the UK who wishes to extend their visa must apply within 28 days of their current visa expiring. A request for further leave will be refused if the applicant has overstayed his or her visa by more than 28 days when the application for an extension is made.
Changes to Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Route
Minor changes to the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Route have also been introduced. These are intended to clarify the rules of this route and make it easier for suitably qualified applicants to apply.
The changes include:
an amendment to the definition of the purpose of the scheme, to explain that the ‘exceptional promise’ aspect does not apply to the field of the arts;
minor amendments to the criteria used by The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering and The British Academy to assess applicants, following discussions with these designated competent bodies;
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;
changes to the unique reference number (URN) system; and
clarification of the evidence for extension applications.
Further information can be found on the website of the UK Border Agency.