UK Business Immigration Changes Implemented in November 2014

This month, a number of immigration changes have come into force which employers in the UK should be aware of if they want to employ migrants. These statement of changes in the Immigration Rules were published by the Home Office on 16 October 2014. The following changes regarding businesses in the UK were put into practice on 6 November 2014. 

Changes relating to Tier 2 of the Points-Based System

Tier 2 route of the Point-based system applies to non-EU migrant workers who have been offered a skilled job position from a licensed employer. Tier 2 is made up of four categories: Intra-company Transfer (ICT), General, Minister of Religion and Sportsperson. The following change to Tier 2 are the following:

  • Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) and Tier 2 (General): An assessment has been added to these two categories in order to analysis the genuineness of the vacancy being offered to the applicant. This has been created to ensure that the sponsor does not exaggerate the job description to meet the Tier 2 skills threshold or to ensure that Tier 2 general applications are given reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant is not qualified for the job.
  • Applicants applying for an extension under Tier 2 (General) continuing to work with the same employer will be exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test as long as the application is made within 28 days of the expiry date of their visa.

Changes to Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme

The Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme applies to young people from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Monaco, Taiwan and Republic of Korea. With this visa applicants can experience living and working in the UK for up to 2 years. The following changes have been made:

  • The  annual allocations for countries on the scheme are being set for 2015. Allocations in New Zealand has increase by 16% after it attracted a larger number of young Brits in 2013 under reciprocal scheme.
  • Two work experience schemes are being added.
  • Four Mandarin Teacher’s schemes are being removed.

Changes relating to Business Visitors

The business visitor category is for people who want to come and do business in the UK for a short time. Business visitors coming to the UK may include academic visitors, visiting professors, teachers accompanying students, film crews and representatives of overseas news media. Changes being implemented to business visas have been broaden to include the following categories of business visitors:

  • Allowing scientists and researchers to share knowledge, expertise and advice on an international project which is being led by the UK, the guidance provided the visitor is not carrying out research that should be undertaken on a Tier 5 (temporary worker) or Tier 2 (skilled work) visa;
  • Creating a provision for overseas lawyers, who are employees of international law firms which have offices in the UK, to provide direct advice to clients in the UK on litigation or international transactions provided they remain paid and employed overseas;

Changes to the Tier 1 of the Points-Based System

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category applies to those who are seen to have a promising future or are well established in the fields of science, humanities, engineering and the arts. The applicant must be sponsored by a designated competent body. The following changes to this category are:

  • Applicants will be granted 5 years leave in the UK (previously 3 years); and
  • The English language requirement will not apply to those applying for an extension.

The Tier 1 (Investor) category is open to migrants who wish to make a substantial financial investment in the UK. The following changes have been made:

  • The minimum investment threshold for the Tier 1 Investor visa has been increased to £2 million. Applicants will have to invest the full amount in order to be eligible for this visa route. Currently the minimum is £1 million and there is a 75:25 split of the investment funds.

Successful UK Business Visas

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making an application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.

We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had an application refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.

Contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment.

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