Immigration Law Update: Tier 2 Changes


Tier 2 is one of the main entry routes for non-EEA nationals to apply for work in the UK. Last month, the government announced changes to the Tier 2 category. Emma Brooksbank, Head of Immigration Law at Simpson Millar, looks at some of the key changes.

UK Immigration

Immigration Skills Charge

It was announced that from April 2017, businesses will need to pay a charge of £1,000 per year for any skilled worker employed that isn't an EEA national. There is a lower rate of £364 per worker per year for small businesses and charities.

Concerns were raised immediately over what this could mean for business in the UK. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has raised concerns that this charge could harm businesses as it places greater restrictions on accessing talent.

Neil Carberry from the CBI said:

"Skilled migration is good for the UK, helping to fill skills gaps and supporting firms to trade globally. Businesses want to see the Tier 2 cap raised not further visa price increases."

Increased Salary Thresholds

The minimum salary that you must earn to work in the UK has also been increased. The minimum threshold of £20,800 is to be raised to £25,000 for experienced workers in autumn 2016, rising again to £30,000 in April 2017.

Other Changes Include

  • Sponsors of nurses will need to carry out a Resident Labour Market Test – this means if the employer is unable to find a settled worker and hopes to recruit a non-EEA candidate, they must justify this.
  • Intra-company transferees are to qualify under a single visa category with minimum salary of £41,500 (except graduate trainees).
  • Tier 4 students changing to Tier 2 are not restricted by number limits and sponsors don't need to conduct Resident Labour Market Test.

Simpson Millar's Immigration Team

Immigration law is incredibly complex and is regularly subject to change. We know the difficulties and hurdles that changes such as these to the Tier 2 category cause for our clients, which is why we remain well informed on these change and how they will personally affect the clients we represent.

Our specialists have expertise in all areas of immigration law and are well equipped to deal complex and wide-ranging issues. If you are in need of advice, contact our team on 0808 129 3320.

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