UK Visas and Immigration has introduced new visa application and service fee changes for 2016. These fee changes are said to reflect a self-funding system while simultaneously maintaining a competitive level of service to the general public.
The Migration Advisory Committee, have been commissioned by the government to continue to reduce net level migration from outside the Economic Union, the focus in their report is to review the points based system Tier 2 category, and advise on new processes which may subsequently boost the Human Capital of UK residents, an ethos the Prime Minister holds dear. While this is the Conservatives primary motive, there still leaves the underlying question can UK Businesses grow without access to niche skills they urgently need?
MAC have advised the government of an Immigration Skills Charge (ISC). The Skills levy is designed for firms who use Migrant Labour. While the levy will not be applied retrospectively. They are advising the government to apply a charge to the company for each employee who is considered a migrant under visa control. The charge may be applied for each year in line with the number of years on their visa.
No. Migrants Tier 2 Visa Term Cost to Employer
1 x Migrant 5 Year Term £5000
2 x Migrants 2 x 3 Year Term £6000
How does this levy penalise emerging markets?
The charge in affect raises the cost of migrant labour thus deterring companies from tapping into the international skills pool in favour of recruiting a UK resident. MAC has calculated that £200 million worth of revenue will be raised per year and the money will be put back into the system for supporting the UK Resident Labour Market.
Essentially, industries who fall under the Skills Shortage categories will be penalised, It will also hamper growth in the emerging markets. This is clearly the wrong message for UK industry and our attempt at keeping up with international competition.
In our next blog we will be reviewing the Engineering Report 2016 released a week ago to establish whether the Engineering sector continues to suffer from the absence of an absolute skill set.
If the government is in agreement with the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendations, expect to see changes after 6th April 2016.
The Tier 2 salary threshold requirement ILR is coming in to force. If you are ready to apply for settlement and have spent 5 years of continuous leave in the United Kingdom under Tier 2 Skilled Worker you will be required to demonstrate that you have held a salary equal or more than the salary your Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned for. However your salary must meet the new threshold requirement set out in the Immigration rules Part 6A: the points based system in order for your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain to be valid.
Currently the rules state that the threshold should be at least £35,000 per annum for applications made on or after 6th April 2016. Therefore applications made prior to 6th April 2016 will be considered under the old rules.
If you aren’t due to apply for another couple of years please bear in mind the salary threshold is expected to rise again from 6th April 2018 and annually thereafter up until 6th April 2020. Please refer to the below table.
Indefinite Leave to Remain salary requirement:
|Salary Threshold||Date new threshold commences|
|£35,000||6th April 2016|
|£35,500||6th April 2018|
|£35,800||6th April 2019|
|£36,200||6th April 2020|
If your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain is imminent and you need advice and representation regarding any aspect of the Immigration rules please contact us.
For the past year, the British economy has surpassed pre-recession ‘peak’ economic markers set 7 years ago. The UK economy is now bigger than ever before and rapidly building momentum. The Chancellor, George Osborne has just released his pro business budget designed to support the continued growth of this diverse economy but also act as a blue print to a more balanced modern UK society. Sustainable long-term growth depends on increasing the contribution of business investment and ultimately the UK’s ability to export. The British export market is equally diverse, made up of a combination of commodities, services and finished goods. However, flagging commodity export values mean that services and goods become increasingly significant and the latter key to balancing the distribution of wealth.