// RESOURCES

// MAC Tier 2 Review 2016 Report for International Students

Who Is MAC?

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is an independent, non-statutory, non-time limited, non-departmental public body that advises the government on migration issues.

MAC is an advisory non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Home Office.

More information available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/migration-advisory-committee


Why Is Tier 2 Being Reviewed?

Tier 2 of the Points Based System is the primary route for economic migration to the UK. Broadly, the route is for skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who have an offer of skilled employment in the UK.

There are four routes within Tier 2: Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfers), Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) and Tier 2 (Sportsperson).

The Government has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review Tier 2 with a view to making recommendations about significantly reducing economic migration to the UK.

What Was Reviewed?

The MAC was requested to make recommendations on five specific issues, namely:

·  How applications can be prioritised under the Tier 2 route to ensure maximum benefit for the UK;

·  Applying a skills levy (immigration skills charge) to businesses employing non-EEA migrants;

·  How to tighten the intra-company transfer route;

·  Whether jobs should be automatically removed from the Shortage Occupation List; and

·  Whether dependants' access to the UK labour market should be restricted.

What Have They Recommended?

1. Salary thresholds

These are to be increased to reflect the increasing minimum skill’s level needed to carry out these jobs.

New Entrants (Graduate) Min. Salary to rise from £20,800 to £23,000

Professional Hires ( 3 years+ Experience) Min. Salary to rise from £20,800 to £30,000

Graduates to be given extra points for their salary ( £7,000= 7 points) when applying for an RCos, so they can fairly compete with experienced hires when applying for the 20,700 Tier 2 RCos Limit.

2. Tier 2 (General)

All In country Tier 2 Applicants to be subject to the Residential Labour Market Test (Note: in the case of large companies, this is much simpler than out of country. Companies merely need to attend 3 Universities to recruit, and advertise on 2 Milkround websites).

In Country Tier 2 Applications to be subject to a limit which is as yet undefined.

No Restrictions to be made on the Tier 2 (General) Category to specialist occupations ( Tier 2 already covers 4,000+ job roles)

No Sunsetting for the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) which means jobs may remain on there for as long as necessary.

3. Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) 

A recommendation that a surcharge be paid by employers for employing non-EEA Migrants.

3 figures tabled of £500, £1000 and £2,000 per year of the migrant’s Visa ( e.g 3 year Tier 2, with a £1,000 charge equals a £3,000 ISC) to be paid upon Visa application

Charge to be determined by HM Treasury. To be applied across all Tier 2 routes apart from “Graduate Trainee” and “Skills Transfer” Route ( these are for existing graduates in companies who come to the UK for secondments or training, not to be confused with Tier 4 graduates)

4. Tier 2 dependants

No changes to be made to the automatic working rights of dependents

5.  Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer)

Definition: a Tier 2(ICT) is a Visa where an existing employee transfers in the company from a non-UK office to a UK office (e.g. A Honda engineer from Japan, transfers under a Tier 2(ICT) to work in a British Honda plant)


There have been a number of changes as we cover in brief as it has little effect on international students/ graduates:

-       CoS requests to be more specific of roles

-       Employees need to have a minimum 24 month experience vs 12 months previously

-       All ICT’s to pay the NHS Surcharge for the duration of their Visa

-       A new route introduced for third party contracting

-       A higher salary threshold of £41,500 to be introduced for this new route

What's Next?

We hope you find the Report informative and helpful for your career orientation. In order to answer your questions and give you a detailed picture of the Changes, you can see our recorded Webinar (YouTube Workshop) on "Proposed Tier 2 Changes in 2016" through here

CIUK has been the UK’s leading Career Coaching provider for international students for 7 years. We bring you another ground breaking report, giving you the information you need to make the most important decisions about your future.

For further information or to enquire about our services, please send an email with your enquiry and your CV attached and the header “Tier 2” to hr@careerinteractive.org.  

Please feel free to download a copy of this report below to distribute to anybody you know who could find this information useful.

MAC Tier 2 Review 2016 Report 

We Wish You Best Of Luck And Success In Your Future Endeavour!

*Terms & Conditions Apply. See Terms of Use, Privacy Statement and Cookie Notice for more information.