Tier 2 Restrictions Proposed

UK - The Migration Advisory Committee has proposed Tier 2 restrictions including a higher minimum salary level, an Immigration Skills Charge, an extended labor market test requirement for in-country status transfers and a greater work experience requirement, among other recommendations aimed at limiting foreign workers in the United Kingdom.

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Jan 21, 2016
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The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has proposed Tier 2 restrictions including a higher minimum salary level, an Immigration Skills Charge and a greater work experience requirement, among other recommendations aimed at limiting foreign workers in the United Kingdom.

Key proposals include the following:

• Increasing the minimum salary for Tier 2 (General) and short-term Intra-company Transfer (ICT) categories to GBP 30,000;
• Implementing a minimum salary of GBP 23,000 for new entrants under the Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Graduate Trainee) categories;
• Implementing a labor market test requirement for in-country Tier 2 status transfers except shortage occupations;
• Increasing the minimum work experience requirement for the Tier 2 (ICT) category from twelve to 24 months, except graduate trainee and skills transfer sub-categories;
• Creating a new category for third-party contractors with a minimum salary of GBP 41,500;
• Extending the Immigration Health Surcharge to the Tier 2 (ICT) category;
• Implementing an Immigration Skills Charge for some Tier 2 applicants;
• Extending and increasing the quota for Tier 2 (General) applicants to those applying within the United Kingdom; and
• Requiring employers to explain the need for and specific skills of an intracompany transferee when assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship.

Timeframe for Proposed Changes

Some of these recommendations, if accepted by the Home Office, would be introduced in April 2016, while others - such as the skills levy, which requires legislative action - would not be implemented until October at the earliest.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Employers and foreign nationals should be prepared for possible restrictions to Tier 2 (General) and (ICT) workers, and should contact their immigration professional to discuss the potential implications.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen Worldwide or send an email to londoninfo@fragomen.com.
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