Tier 2 Work Visa Update – Immigration Skills Charge Levy for Sponsor Licence Holders

We wrote previously about recent changes to the Tier 2 minimum salary requirement being increased to £30,000, this article addresses the concurrent change on 6 April 2017 with a new levy introduced on Sponsor Licence holders as a Tier 2 Immigration Skills Charge of up to £1000 per migrant worker. It is clear the UKVI are introducing these changes to deter UK Sponsor Licence Holders from recruiting overseas workers and to encourage in-country recruitment. These new changes are set to affect all UK Sponsor Licence Holders holding Tier 2 Sponsor Licence wishing to sponsor overseas migrant workers on a Tier 2 Visa. The Tier 2 Immigration Skills charge is set to severely disadvantage all Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders and in particular the nursing industry, given its exponential demand for recruiting workers in this field.

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Successful Sponsor Licence and Tier 2 Visa Applications can be made by LEXVISA

The potential impact of the Immigration Skills Charge on Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders

As of 6 April 2017, all UK Tier 2 Sponsor Licence employers who hold a valid Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, must now pay a mandatory Immigration Skills Charge of £1000 per worker.  The Immigration Skills Charge has been intensely scrutinised by various industry experts labelling the charge as plainly unjust, unfair and disproportionate. It is clear the UKVI has endorsed the anti-immigration views of Theresa May in putting forward draconian measures to cap net migration to the UK.

In addition to the previously discussed Tier 2 minimum salary increase, the additional imposition of a Tier 2 Immigration Skills Charge serves as an inevitable deterrent for UK Sponsor Licence Holders to recruit overseas migrant workers. In particular, the Nursing industry is facing severe pressures as to its future growth and development in the UK causing significant unrest to not only UK citizens but also the industry itself.  We recently wrote about the ‘Nursing Crisis in the UK – An alarming drop in EU Nurses living and working in the UK after Brexit’, which reveals the lack of opportunities available in the Nursing industry for migrant workers and at the same time the overwhelming demand for them.

The British Medical Association (BMA) and Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have raised their serious concerns on the imposition of the Tier 2 Immigration Skills Charge as this could have a damaging impact on the health and social care funding in the UK. Mark Porter (BMA council chair) has recently voiced his concerns stating:

“The introduction of this charge could take desperately needed money from an already underfunded health service, worsen the current staffing issues, and impact the level of care that hospitals are able to provide to patients.”

What does this mean for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders?

The recent changes to the Tier 2 minimum salary requirement and the introduction of the Immigration Skills Charge have given Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders more reason to ensure they seek legal advice when sponsoring a Tier 2 worker. It is imperative that Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders submit a well-prepared application with the all the specified documents to avoid a refusal.

Exemptions to the Tier 2 Immigration Skills Charge for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders

There are 4 notable exemptions to the Immigration Skills Charge. Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders will not be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge where the job is in relation to:

  • A Tier 4 (General) student switching into a Tier 2 (General) Visa;
  • A worker to do a specified PhD level occupation job;
  • A Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Graduate Trainee; and
  • A worker who has already been sponsored on a Tier 2 route before 6 April 2017 and is applying for an extension.

Using Legal Representation for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders to Apply for a Tier 2 Visa Application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Tier 2 Sponsor licence and Tier 2 visa applications. A Sponsor Licence application can be complicated at times as the Home Office have imposed specific requirements for Applicants to meet. Our expert immigration solicitors will provide you with a tailored service and are on hand to expedite the Sponsor Licence process. We ensure that we assist you to achieve and maintain an A-rated Sponsor status and provide ongoing compliance checks to ensure you are aware of your duties as a registered Sponsor.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. 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 for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders

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 immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and 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.

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

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