The Home Office has confirmed that the MAC Review on policy recommendations will be implemented in autumn 2016 and April 2017. The following changes are policy. The Migration Advisory Committee were commissioned by UKVI to advise on restricting Tier 2, to skills shortages and experts who specialise within their respective fields.
‘We are clear that the immigration system can play a strong part in supporting growth, filling skills gaps in our labour market and meeting the needs of businesses. Our response aims to balance both the needs of employers and our commitment to support and up-skill the resident labour market.’ UK Visas and Immigration.
Tier 2 Visa Changes 2016 – Expected in Autumn 2016
Experienced Tier 2 General
- There will be an increase in the Tier 2 (General) salary threshold for Experienced workers to £25,000. New entrants the minimum salary threshold will remain at £20,800.
For Graduates and Graduate Trainees
- It is important to highlight that the government is recognising the skills void that industry is unable to fulfil due to the lack of skilled experience within the UK Labour market.
- In Autumn 2016, UKVI will be reducing the salary requirement for the Tier 2 Graduate (Trainee) category from £24,800 to £23,000 and will increase the number of placements from 5 to 20 per year, this is available for companies who have Graduate schemes available within their recruitment process. Smaller companies will not benefit if they are outside the Tier 2 Graduate (Trainee) category.
- Enable graduates to switch roles once they have found a permanent job.
- Prioritise overseas graduates in the Tier 2 General monthly allocation rounds for the distribution of Certificates of Sponsorship.
Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT)
- Close the Tier 2 (ICT) category to new applications.
- Increase the salary threshold to £30,000 for Tier 2 ICT in the short term category.
- Remove exemption from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge.
Tier 2 Visa Changes 2017 – Expected in April 2017
Detail on the changes for April 2017 will be provided in due course. However please bear in mind there will be the introduction of the Immigration Skills Charge to all companies employing Migrants under Tier 2, and the closure of the Tier 2 ICT category for short term new applications.
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