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New phase of tuberculosis screening launched

The second phase of the Home Office’s life-saving pre-entry tuberculosis (TB) screening programme has been introduced as part of the new immigration rules laid on Monday 10th June.

The programme means that migrants who want to enter the UK for more than six months, from 67 countries with a high incidence of TB, have to be screened before they are granted a visa for the UK.

The first phase of pre-entry screening was rolled out to eight countries, including India, Malaysia and the Philippines, in May 2012, and will now be introduced to a further 11 countries from Monday 1st July.

The introduction of pre-screening comes as recent figures showed that there were over 9,000 new cases of TB in the UK in 2011, a 5% increase on 2010. The programme is targeted at migrants after research showed non-UK born people accounted for three quarters of all new TB cases diagnosed – 20 times higher than in the UK born population.

Along with the tuberculosis screening requirement, a number of minor changes to the Immigration Rules have been published which will come into force on 1st July 2013. They include:

  • changes to the documents required for approved English language tests;
  • clarification that ‘regulated financial institutions’ means those regulated to provide personal savings accounts or student loans;
  • more legal courses are now exempt from the time limit on study for Tier 4 student visas;
  •  a resident labour market test is not needed for applications for a religious worker (Tier 5) extension; and
  • some minor updates and clarifications to the family Immigration Rules

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.

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