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Legal Updates

Business Immigration Update: Key Changes to Tier 2

06 April 2017 #Immigration


Our business immigration team can report that key changes to Tier 2 have come into effect today (6 April 2017). In February, we reported that the Home Office would be introducing the immigration skills charge which would apply to both the Tier 2 General and Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer routes – this has now come into effect.

Here, we summarise other changes which employers should be aware of.

Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfers

  • Closure of the Tier 2 ICT Short Term Staff category: As of today, it is not possible to sponsor ICT employees for up to 12 months under this category. Tier 2 migrants who have been issued with CoS’s should note that their CoS’s are still valid and they should continue to make their applications.
  • Reduction of high earner’s salary (Tier 2 ICT Long Term Staff): This has been reduced from £155,300 to £120,000 allowing employees to extend their stay up to a maximum of 9 years.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge: Tier 2 ICT applicants and their dependents will need to pay a NHS surcharge of £200 per each year of their visa.

 

Tier 2 General

  • Minimum salary threshold: For experienced workers, the minimum salary threshold has increased from £25,000 to £30,000 (minimum threshold for new entrants remains at £20,800).
  • Resident Labour Market Test: For an exemption to apply, the total salary package for the job must be £159,600 or above (previously this threshold was £155,300)
  • Relocation of high value businesses: Where a role supports the relocation of high value businesses to the UK (capital expenditure or creating at least 21 new UK jobs), employers will not have to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test before hiring a Tier 2 migrant.
  • Graduate recruitment: widening of advertising methods to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test for graduate recruitment.


Priority Service

As of 3 April 2017, the Home Office has expanded its priority change of circumstances service for Tier 2 and 5 sponsors – this is a welcome change. The Home Office has now increased the number of daily allocation slots and change of circumstances.

For a fee of £200, sponsors can apply for requests in the following categories to be expedited (5 working days):

  • In year CoS allocation increase;
  • CoS allocation renewal;
  • Add new Level 1 user;
  • Replace Authorising Officer (AO); and
  • Add a representative.

Sponsors requiring business immigration advice should contact our specialist business immigration team by telephone on 020 7539 8000 or by completing the form on this page. 

Clarkslegal, specialist Immigration lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Immigration matter please contact Clarkslegal's immigration team by email at immigration@clarkslegal.com by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.

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Afeefah Shabbir

Afeefah Shabbir
Business Immigration Solicitor

E: AShabbir@clarkslegal.com
T: 0207 539 8009
M: 0777 581 5811

Contact

Immigration team
+44 (0)20 7539 8000