UK Immigration: MAC’s Review of Tier 2 – Analysis of Salary Threshold

Today, the Migration Advisory Council (MAC) published its Review of Tier 2: Analysis of Salary Threshold. The review has warned the UK Government to reconsider their plan to raise the minimum salary requirements for Tier 2 skilled migrant workers. It should be noted that this is the MAC’s early advice and a wider review will be published in December 2015. 

UK Home Secretary Commissioned MAC to Review Tier 2 Route

Two months ago the MAC called for evidence after the Home Secretary commissioned them to conduct a review of the Tier 2 visa route. The commission has been split into two parts; the first part of the commission was calling for evidence relating to the following:

  • Increasing the Tier 2 (General) minimum salary threshold of £20,800 and the Tier 2 (ICT) minimum salary thresholds of £24,800 for the short-term category and £41,500 for the long-term category to a level that better aligns with the salaries paid to highly-specialised experts or individuals filling skills shortages skilled to NQF level 6 or higher;
  • Increasing the Tier 2 minimum salaries per occupation for experienced workers from the 25th percentile to the 50th or 75th percentiles; and
  • Increasing the Tier 2 minimum salaries per occupation for new entrant workers from the 10th percentile to the 25th or 50th percentiles.

In their early advice, the Committee has urged the UK Government to be cautious over any early decision to raise the minimum salary requirements for skilled migrant workers, pending the completion of the MAC’s wider review of the Tier 2 route later this year. In the review the MAC does set out its preference for using occupation-specific salary thresholds, but does not (at least at this stage) make recommendations on minimum salary thresholds for individual roles. However, the committee do conclude that it is reasonable to increase the minimal threshold for Tier 2 General (currently £20,800); as it was calculated back in 2009 when the  skill requirement for migrant workers were much lower than it is now.

CBI: MAC are Right to Argue Against Raising Salary Thresholds

The Deputy Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, Katja Hall has become one of the first individuals to comment on the MAC’s early advice to the UK Government:

“Skilled migrants bring huge benefits to the UK, making sure businesses have access to the specialist expertise they need to succeed, helping the economy to grow. That’s why it’s right that the Migration Advisory Committee is arguing against any hasty decisions and urging caution on raising salary thresholds for skilled migrant workers. It’s also noteworthy that the committee found little evidence to support the misplaced view that skilled migrants undercut the wages of UK resident workers. We hope the Government now heeds the advice of its own experts to ensure the UK remains a great place to invest, do business and create jobs.”

As mentioned above the MAC’s wider review will be published in December 2015 and from there it will be seen if the UK Government do follow their advice.

Immigration Advice for UK Employers & Tier 2 Applicants

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a Tier 2 General migrant visa 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 a Tier 2 General visa refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.

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