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Tier 2 Visa Reforms for Skilled Non-EU Workers

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Early this year we reported that the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) had published a review of Tier 2 (Skilled Worker) migration which had recommended, amongst other things, a minimum salary uplift for future visa applicants.

The Home Office have responded by confirming that they intend to implement the following changes:

  • The minimum salary threshold for experienced Tier 2 workers will shift to £25,000 by autumn 2016, and will be further raised to £30,000 by April 2017.
  • The introduction of an Immigration Skills Charge imposed on employers of £1,000 for each Certificate of Sponsorship issued each year (£364 for smaller businesses and charities) – to be implemented by April 2017
  • Relaxing the salary thresholds and sponsorship limits for Tier 2 Graduate Trainees.
  • Simplification of the Tier 2 Inter-Company Transfer rules so as to promote the movement of senior managers and specialists between international branches.

Much of these changes mirror the proposals made by the MAC earlier in the year and aim to encourage employers to recruit and train UK nationals rather than looking overseas.

It has also been confirmed that nurses shall remain on the Shortage Occupation List, so employers will find it easier to recruit non-EU nurses. The MAC have expressed concerns about this development, however, so it appears likely that a stronger focus will be placed on training nurses at the domestic level so as to reverse this decision in future.  For further information please contact Louis Harman at our Lincoln Office on 01522 541181 or