Points Based System Update: Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules for Tier 2 Visas

The latest Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 2631 was published on 9 September 2019 and contains a number of amendments to Tier 2 of the Points Based System. The Tier 2 visa category caters for migrant workers with an offer of a skilled job from a licensed employer in the UK. There are four categories: Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) (“ICT”), Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) and Tier 2 (Sportsperson). Our business immigration team are experts in Points Based System applications and are happy to arrange a consultation with our expert solicitors in order to discuss Tier 2 visa applications in light of these recent changes.   

Points Based System Update: Changes to the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List

Further to recommendations made by the Migration Advisory Committee (“MAC”) earlier this year, the Government has now implemented some of the suggestions following the MAC review, specifically in regard to the Shortage Occupation List. The Shortage Occupation List is found under Appendix K of the Immigration Rules and lists specific job roles where the Home Office recognises there is a skills shortage of settled workers.  These jobs are exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test (“RLMT”) and are given priority within the Tier 2 annual limit. There is one list covering the whole of the UK and an additional list for Scotland.

Amendments to the Shortage of Occupation List in this recent Statement of Changes include the addition of occupations such as Biological Scientists and Veterinarians and the removal of other occupations such as Directors in mining and energy. The restriction preventing chefs from working for a sponsor that provides a takeaway service has been removed as well as the qualifying company criteria applying to digitech occupations. Further, a significant number of Standard Occupational Classification (“SOC”) codes already on the Shortage Occupation List, but only for limited types of jobs, have been extended to cover all jobs in that occupation code.

Points Based System Update: Changes to the Tier 2 (General) Allocation Cap

The Tier 2 (General) visa category is the main immigration route for UK employers seeking to recruit non-EEA skilled workers. It is subject to an annual limit of 20,700 places which is divided into monthly allocations. Changes in this latest Home Office update now mean that PhD level occupations are being made exempt from the annual limit in order to signal that the UK welcomes researchers and other highly skilled individuals. It will also free up places in that tier for other key roles that contribute to the UK economy. Furthermore, Applicants whose occupations are at PhD level, and who undertake research overseas directly related to their Tier 2 employment, may do so without that absence being counted when any indefinite leave to remain applications are being considered.

Other minor amendments made to Tier 2 of the Points Based System

There are other minor changes that have been made to Tier 2 of the Points Based System which includes the following:

  • The addition of the ‘Teaching Vacancies’ service on Government website to the list of acceptable sources of advertising a teaching role at schools based in England;
  • Correction of Tier 2 pay scale errors under Appendix J of the Immigration Rules;
  • Migrant workers will not be penalised for certain absences from their employment if it is due to sickness, statutory parental leave, assisting in a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis or engaging in legal strike action;
  • Updated the accepted English language test providers and exemptions to the English language testing requirement under Appendix B of the Immigration Rules relating to doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists;
  • Update to Appendix KOLL of the Immigration Rules (“Knowledge of language and life”) meaning Applicants are no longer required to provide original documents as proof of passing the ‘Life in the UK’ test, and instead only need to provide the unique reference number for checking.

The Tier 2 work visa remains one of the UK’s most popular visa options, and LEXVISA are happy to assist in the preparation and submission of this Points Based System application, in order to give it the greatest chance of success. We can also assist businesses in obtaining a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence in order for them to sponsor a skilled worker from outside the UK and EU, therefore please contact us today to hear more about our service.

You can access the full Statement of Changes here: Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 2631 9 September 2019 | LEXVISA Immigration Lawyers London

Using Legal Representation to submit a Tier 2 Points Based System Application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to apply for a Tier work visa. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Tier 2 visa application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 2 Visa Applications

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a Tier 2 visa application before it even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of Tier 2 work visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a Tier 2 application under the Points Based System.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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