Migration Advisory Committee reviews of Tier 2
From:UK Visas and ImmigrationFirst published:24 March 2016Part of:Immigration and borders
The Home Office has published its response to two reviews of Tier 2 policy, undertaken by the Migration Advisory Committee.
Today, 24 March, the government has announced its response to two reviews of Tier 2 policy by the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
Tier 2 is the main immigration route for non-EEA nationals to apply to work in the UK. The proposed changes are balanced to ensure that employers are incentivised to up-skill and train resident workers, whilst making sure they can continue to access migrant workers when needed.
The main changes include:
Tier 2 (General) salary thresholds for experienced workers will be increased to £25,000 in autumn 2016, and £30,000 in April 2017. However, some health and education professionals will be exempt fr om the higher threshold until July 2019. The minimum threshold of £20,800 for new entrants will be maintained
Tier 4 students switching to a Tier 2 visa will not be subject to a lim it on numbers and their sponsor will not have to carry out a Resident Labour Market Test
nurses will remain on the Shortage Occupation List, but sponsors will need to carry out a Resident Labour Market Test before recruiting a non-EEA nurse
the current intra-company transfer provisions are being simplified by requiring all intra-company transferees to qualify under a single visa category with a minimum salary threshold of £41,500, with the exception of the graduate trainees
the Immigration Skills Charge will be levied on Tier 2 employers at a rate of £1,000 per person per year from April 2017, with a rate of £364 for smaller businesses and charities, and an exemption for PhD occupations, Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Graduate Trainees and Tier 4 students switching to Tier 2
the Immigration Rules for work categories will be simplified, making them easier for sponsors and applicants to understand and use
Further detail is available in the written ministerial statement.