UNITED KINGDOM – Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules - April 2017
The Home Office has published a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules, due to take effect 6 April 2017.
The changes will see the second implementation of two phases of changes announced by the government following the 2015 review by the Migration Advisory Committee.
As previously advised, the Immigration Skills Charge of £1000 per Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) per year will be levied on Tier 2 employers (with some exemptions). Smaller businesses and charities will be charged £364 per year. A CoS will be considered invalid if any charge which applies is not paid in full.
In both the General and Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) sub-categories of the Tier 2 route, salary rates in the codes of practice for skilled workers will be updated annually using the latest available salary data for each occupation.
Changes to Tier 2 (General)
- An increase to the salary threshold for experienced workers, which will be raised to £30,000 for the majority of new applicants. The minimum salary for new entrants remains at £20,800.
- In changes to the Shortage Occupation List, secondary school teachers of chemistry will be removed, and secondary school teachers of combined science, computer science and Mandarin will be added.
- Migrants intending to work in the sectors of education, health and social care, and their adult dependents, must provide a criminal record certificate from each country in which they have been resident for 12 months or more in the past 10 years (while aged 18 years and over).
- The high earner threshold for exemption from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) will increase to £159,600 (or £155,300 if the recruitment took place before 6 April 2017). If an application for entry clearance or leave to remain has been made using a CoS assigned before 6 April 2017, the application will be decided in accordance with the rules in force on 5 April 2017.
- Additional points will be awarded to nurses, medical radiographers, paramedics and secondary school teachers of maths, physics, chemistry, computer science and Mandarin where they are not on the Shortage Occupation List.
Changes to Tier 2 (ICT)
- Employers should initiate all Tier 2 applications as soon as possible to avoid incurring the £1000 per year Immigration Skills Charge and the new minimum salary of £30,000 for experienced workers.