The Immigration Health Surcharge set to rise on 18th December 2018
The plan was put forward to parliament on 11/10/2018 to raise the Immigration Surcharge on 18th December 2018. Individuals whom hold a UK visa for more than 6 months but not settlement, will be required to pay £400 per year which is an increase of 100%. Students and Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme Workers who previously paid £150 will be required to pay £300 per year. There are further concessions and exemptions for individuals, you can find more information under the Immigration Health Charge Order.
The Immigration Health Surcharge allows anyone in the UK on a work, study or family visa for longer than 6 months to access NHS services in the same way as UK citizens despite the majority of working visa nationals paying their taxes and therefore already contributing to the NHS.
What does this mean to businesses sponsoring individuals under Tier 2?
Companies are already suffering from paying exorbitant fees to the Home Office in favour of getting the right skilled workforce in place to grow. As well as the Surcharge hike they are also required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge which is a levy introduced in April 2017 designed to penalise firms for employing overseas nationals under the Tier 2 Skilled Worker route. These increasing charges will place huge pressure on Small to Medium Enterprises, which are the economic life blood of the UK, especially in the wake of Brexit which further exasperates the UK economy.
What is the future of the Tier 2 Sponsorship route?
A number of changes to the Points Based System under the Tier 2 category rules have been proposed by the Migration Advisory Committee who advise UK Government on migration policy, particularly in the Tier 2 Worker Category; to remove the cap on the Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship limit of 20,800 and to additionally abolish the Resident Labour Market Test, both of which have been a hindrance on the application process for Tier 2 Employer Sponsor Licence holders. These changes will open up the Tier 2 route to make it easier for employers to hire from outside the UK Labour Market however this may be at a higher cost. Please note these changes have yet to be legally formalised.
For further information regarding the MAC proposals please click on the MAC Report link below: