Generally on our immigration shows, we ask about changes to policy and reflect upon immigration issues that may be of concern to our viewers. While I knew we would do this, I thought I would start a little different by asking our immigration expert Gurpal Oppal about his own journey as an immigration expert.

Gurpal actually went from village to village around Punjab in India and looked at the UK immigration rules and issues on immigration. He also looked at the problems faced by people in India desperate to go abroad.

Gurpal shared his exciting journey and the realisation that the real problems when it comes to immigration are not here in the UK but there back in India. And one of the main issues, around 15 years ago, was the lack of education when it came to immigration rules and how to apply to go abroad.

So he travelled around various parts of India, appearing on television and speaking on radio, to educate the people and, in his words, ‘spread some positivity’.

Well Gurpal has clearly continued to do this as he was on our sofa answering our callers questions. He also shared some invaluable advice with regards to changes coming into place on the 6th of April 2015.

The first change that people should know about is the change to settlement fees. Settlement fees are increasing by around £400. Currently, people who apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, they pay £1090 but this will increase to £1500.

Another major and important change will be made to the English language test requirements. The English language test, which is required for all visa applications, is changing. Anyone applying from within Europe for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or an extension must take the Trinity Test from an approved language centre. Anybody applying from overseas must take an English Language Test from a select, approved language centre which can be found on the official government website or on the Indian High Commission website.

Another change that will take place on the 6th of April applies to people who are coming from abroad and applying as entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs from abroad will now have to present a business plan along with their application to prove that they are coming here for business and as an entrepreneur.

There are also significant changes being made to Tier 1 and 2 visa permits.

Tier 1 (General Visa) changes:

You will from 6 April 2010 gain 30 points for having a Bachelors degree under the new Tier 1 criteria. Currently there are no points for having a Bachelors degree which means that until the new Tier 1 system starts you will need a Masters degree or equivalent to apply under the Tier 1 visa.
The minimum previous earnings under which you will gain points will increase to £25,000. You will also only gain 5 points for earnings of between £25,000 to £29,999; Under the current system you will gain between twenty and thirty points. This will make it more difficult for people with lower salaries to qualify under the new Tier 1 visa criteria.
You will from 6 April initially be granted two years instead of the current three years under the Tier 1 General Visa. You will be granted an extension of three years if you have been in highly skilled employment

Tier 2 visa changes:

If you are on a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) visa this will no longer leads to permanent residence.
You will find it more difficult in many cases to gain points under prospective earnings. For example the minimum salary to gain points has gone up from £17,000 to £20,000. You do however gain more points if your earnings are above £32,000.

For more information about any changes being made or about immigration, you can visit the official government website or the website of the Indian High Commission.