To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will lay before the House the statement of changes to the immigration rules announced on 16 November, Official Report, column 788; and if he will make a statement.
I am laying before Parliament today for publication tomorrow a statement of changes in the immigration rules to introduce the changes which I announced on 16 November. The effect of these changes will be to provide for (1) leave to enter or remain for up to four years to be granted to persons of independent means, sole representatives, writers and artists; (2) leave to remain for up to four years to be granted to business men and self-employed persons; (3) leave to enter for up to two years to be granted to au pairs; and (4) a reduction to six months in the maximum period of a visit.As I indicated to the House on 16 November, people in the categories affected by the changes will no longer need to apply for merely routine extensions of leave in order to remain for the maximum allowed in that category. The effect of the changes will be to reduce unnecessary bureacracy, improve the overall level of the service which the Department offers to the genuine applicant and enable efforts to be concentrated more effectively and speedily on those cases where important decisions have to be made. These changes will become effective on 1 February 1988. I hope that the House will before then have an opportunity to consider these changes.