// 2016 Tier 2 Visa Changes

So What Has Changed

Tier 2 is the major route for non-EU Migrants to come and work in the UK

The Home Office asked the Migration Advisory Council in 2015 to advise on ways of “significantly reducing the level of economic migration from outside the EU”

MAC is comprised of the UK’s top economists and migration experts who advise the Home Office on matters related to Immigration.

Please watch our handy summary of all the changes that will affect you in the video below:

The MAC advised on a number of changes in January of this year, which, if all put into effect would reduce Tier 2 Migration by 20%. However the government has chosen not to follow all of their recommendations. A move that indicates a balance between border control and the interests of big business.

The key changes and their timings can be summarised as follows:

From Autumn 2016

·        Increase in the Tier 2 (General) threshold to £25,000 for experienced workers, maintaining the minimum threshold of £20,800 for new entrants.
·        Increase in the salary threshold to £30,000 for the Tier 2 (ICT) Short Term category.
·        Introduction of exemptions from the increased Tier 2 (General) experienced threshold for nurses, medical radiographers, paramedics and secondary school teachers in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science and Mandarin. The exemption will end in July 2019.
·        Reduction in the salary requirement for the Tier 2 (Graduate Trainee) category from £24,800 to £23,000 and increase the number of places available to companies from five to 20 per year.
·        Closure of the Tier 2 (ICT) Skills Transfer category to new applications.
·        Weighting overseas graduates more heavily in the Tier 2 (General) monthly allocation rounds.
·        Enabling graduates to switch roles once they secure a permanent job.
·        Removal of the exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge for the Tier 2 (ICT) category

From April 2017

·        Increase in the Tier 2 (General) threshold to £30,000 for experienced workers.
·        Closure of the Tier 2 (ICT) Short Term category to new applications.
·        Introduction of the Immigration Skills Charge (as detailed above).
·        Reduction in the high-earners’ salary threshold for Long-Term ICTs from £155,300 to £120,000.
·        Removal of the one year experience requirement in the Long-Term category where the applicant is earning over £73,900.
·        Introduction of a waiver for the Resident Labour Market Test and prioritisation of Tier 2 (General) places where the visa grant(s) are in support of the relocation of a high-value business to the UK or, potentially, an inward investment project.
·        Implementation of any recommendations as a result of the review of allowances under the Tier 2 (ICT) categories.

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