The Home Office has drafted a new Statement of Changes HC1154 which is set to come into force on 6 July 2018. There are changes and amendments proposed across a wide range of UK Immigration applications such as the Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 applications. There also changes to Immigration Bail and Article 8 Family Life applications. A very important change was introduced to the Tier 2 General visa category. The new change in the Tier 2 General visa category exempts all doctors and nurses from the annual Tier 2 General visa allocation limit. This change will free up space for workers in other categories and it will assist with the issue of the annual limit being oversubscribed.
What changes are being introduced to the Tier 2 General Visa?
The Statement of Changes was presented to parliament on 15 June 2018 and shall take effect from 6 July 2018. The key change to the Tier 2 General visa category is that doctors and nurses will be exempt from the annual Tier 2 allocation limit. The current cap set for non-EU skilled workers is at 20,700 per year. The National Health Service (NHS) bosses have welcomed the changes as in recent years they have failed to fill in vacancies and have often been severely understaffed. This is a momentous step in the right direction from the new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid who has suggested that the UK Immigration Policy needs a total reform. Speaking to the BBC Sajid Javid has recently said:
I recognise the pressures faced by the NHS and other sectors in recent months. Doctors and nurses play a vital role in society and at this time we need more in the UK. That is why I have reviewed our skilled worker visa route.”
This particular change is the first sign of a relaxation in the Immigration Rules and suggests that the future for Tier 2 General workers could be promising. The benefit of excluding Tier 2 doctors and nurses from the annual limit is that those spaces can now be allocated to Tier 2 workers in other areas such as IT, construction and teaching. It is estimated that in previous allocations doctors and nurses have taken up to 40% of the annual allocation. It should be noted that all applications submitted before 6 July 2018 will be decided in accordance with the Immigration Rules as they were on the 5 July 2018.
What are the Tier 2 General visa requirements?
The Tier 2 General visa is a Points Based System (PBS) application and it is governed under the UK Immigration Rules. Applicants are required to acquire 70 points for a successful application and points can be acquired by meeting the following requirements:
50 points for Attributes – To acquire 50 points for Attributes Applicants must be able to show the job offer passes a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT), show a CoS number and the appropriate salary must be awarded. It is possible to be exempt from the RLMT
10 points for Maintenance – To acquire 10 points for Maintenance Applicants must be able to show that they can be accommodated and maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds
10 points for the English Language requirement – To acquire 10 points for the English Language requirement Applicants must meet a minimum level of CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening or have an academic qualification that was taught in English. Applicants from majority English speaking countries can satisfy the English Language requirement by proving nationality.
It is important you seek legal advice when submitting a Tier 2 General UK Work Visa application as the Home Office requirements are complex and must be fully satisfied in accordance with their rules and policy guidance.
Other changes to the Tier 2 General visa under the Statement of Changes HC1154
As expected in addition to the changes on the exemption of doctors and nurses from the annual allocation limit there are also other noteworthy changes introduced under the Statement of Changes HC1154. We have summarised the other key changes introduced under the Tier 2 General visa category below:
- There are also changes being introduced in respect of Croatian nationals working in the United Kingdom under the Tier 2 General visa category. From 6 July 2018 applications made for Restricted Certificate of Sponsorships for Croatian nationals will not be counted towards the annual Tier 2 limit.
- The transitional arrangements possibility introduced to allow Applicants to extend stay in the United Kingdom as a result of the increase in the skills threshold from Qualifications Framework (RQF) level 4 to RQF level 6 under the Tier 2 General and Tier Intra Company Transfer is now closed. However, provisions for Indefinite Leave to Remain applications remain open.
- An increase in the maximum percentage of shares an Applicant can hold directly or indirectly in the Sponsor (Tier 2 employer);
- There is also a change introduced under the Tier 2 Settlement (indefinite leave to remain) category. Applicants applying for settlement who have been absent from work on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave must now provide evidence of the birth or adoption that necessitated their leave.
- There is a minor change to correct the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code used for midwifes.
For detailed information on the Statement of Changes HC1154 please contact our specialist immigration team for a free telephone case assessment.
Using Legal Representation to submit a successful Tier 2 General visa 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 2 General visa application. 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 General 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.
Successfully submit a Tier 2 General visa application
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 General visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a Tier 2 General 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 General visa application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.