UK Immigration Updates: Changes to Tier 2 Work Visas Autumn 2016

Following the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)’s review of the Tier 2 visa route earlier this year, the first set of changes to the Tier 2 route are due to come into force this Autumn. Majority of the key changes are to the Tier 2 ICT route as the Government aims to streamline the visa route into a single visa category. Changes to the Tier 2 general category are also due to come into force. Businesses and employers who employ skilled workers from outside of the European Economic Area will need to be aware of the changes and how it affects them. We outline below key changes due to come into force this autumn. 

Businesses and Employers will need to be aware of the changes to the Tier 2 Visa routes which allows them to employ skilled workers from outside the EEA

Changes to Tier 2 General Visa

The main changes coming into force this autumn for the Tier 2 General category is the changes to the increase to the minimum salary threshold to £25,000 for experienced workers. The good news is that the minimum threshold of £20,800 for new entrants will remain the same. The good news for certain public sector workers such as nurses, paramedics, and teachers is that they will be exempt from these changes until July 2019.

The second change coming into force is that employers hiring skilled nurses from outside the EEA will need to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) before recruiting a Non EEA nurse. Although nursing remains on the Shortage Occupation list, this is to ensure that the skilled worker meets the requirements to obtain the Tier 2 General visa and is line with the Government’s aim to strike a balance between reducing reliance on non-EEA skilled workers while also supporting growth and productivity in the UK.

Changes to Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer)

As mentioned above, majority of the changes coming in this autumn will affect the Tier 2 ICT category. In a move that furthers the aim to streamline the route into one visa category, the Tier 2 (ICT) Skills Transfer category will close. Other changes to the Tier 2 ICT route include the following;

  • Tier 2 ICT applicants will now have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (currently £200 per year);
  • There will be an increase in the Salary threshold for Tier 2 (ICT) Short Term route to £30,000; and
  • The minimum salary requirement for the Tier 2 (ICT) Graduate Trainee category will be reduced from £24,800 to £23,000 and each multinational company will now be able to transfer up to 20 graduates up from 5; and

Further changes to the Tier 2 visa routes are also going to be introduced over the coming months and the rest to be introduced by April 2017.

UK Immigration Advice for Tier 2 Visa Applicants and Sponsors

Our team of solicitors and barristers bear in mind the paramount duty of all legal representatives to act in your best interest whilst complying with the strict letter of the law. Our team of specialists can be distinguished from other law firms with our client tailored approach and scrutiny of options available to you from the outset. We will be able to advise you in respect of the merits of your Tier 2 visa application by providing you with advice from our leading team of barristers before your matter even reaches the Home Office. Our expert immigration solicitors provide business clients with a tailored service and are on hand to expedite the sponsor licence process. We ensure that we help you achieve and maintain an A rated sponsor licence and provide ongoing compliance checks to ensure you are aware of your duties as a Home Office registered sponsor.

If you have instructed legal representatives and you are unhappy with their conduct you can contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us now on 02071830570 for a telephone assessment.

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