The Migration Advisory Committee advise the government on Migration to the UK, particularly under the worker routes. They have set out this years’ recommendations to the government for the Tier 2 category. Usually if the government is in agreement with these recommendations please expect to see changes to the rules on or after the 6th April 2016.
Please note these changes may not occur retrospectively, therefore anyone who currently holds Tier 2, its unlikely they will be affected. Usually these recommendations are for new applicants or those applying to extend their Tier 2 visa. We will know much more on 6th April 2016.
Recommended Changes Tier 2
1. Recommendations – Salary Thresholds
The Advisory Committee has recommended that the overall minimum salary threshold reflects the skill requirement of NQF6+. Therefore the recommended salary threshold may be as follows:
Tier 2 (General)
New Entrants £23,000
Tier 2 Intra Company Transferees
Long Term – Conventional £41,500
3rd Party Contracting £41,500
Short Term – Graduate Trainee £23,000
Skills Transfer £30,000
Short Term (Conventional) £30,000
Third Party contracting £41,500
2. Recommendations – Immigration Skills Surcharge
The Migration Advisory Committee has recommended that the government introduce an Immigration Skills Charge – The charge will be an upfront cost payable at the time the Migrants Certificate of Sponsorship is issued.
The charge per year for employing a skilled individual should be enough to have a significant impact on the employers’ decision making processes for employing a Non-EU Migrant.
Please note that the HM Treasury will determine the level of the Immigration Skills Charge and how the revenue will be spent. The Migration Advisory Committee has advocated £1,000 per Tier 2 migrant per year.
3. Recommendations – Restrictions to Tier 2 (General)
Tier 2 will not be limited to a list of genuine skills shortages and highly specialist expertise. The Resident Labour Market Test should be rolled out to In-country switchers from Tier 1, 4 & 5. The annual Tier 2 limit will be increased to accommodate this.
They would like to see a regular review of the Shortage Occupations list (SOL) to ensure the list is still relevant and companies which fall under SOL may be asked to provide evidence on their recruitment drives in order to demonstrate that they are actively trying to resolve the shortages within their sector.
4. Recommendations – Restrictions to Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfers)
The amount of prior experience required for a candidate applying for Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer should be raised to 24 months, however this should not apply to the graduate and skills transfers route.
All ITC’s should pay the Immigration Health surcharge to bring it inline with all other visa applications.
The Home Office and HMRC to join forces in establishing whether allowances and payment of National Insurance contributions are not being undercut.
Third Party Contracting – MAC would like to see a separate route for third party contracting to be established.
5. Recommendations – Restrictions to Tier 2 Dependants
NO RECOMMENDATIONS FOR Tier 2 DEPENDANTS