Tier 2 Sponsor License holders should be aware of the following changes to the Immigration Rules published 3 November 2016. In both categories of Tier 2 of the Points Based System (General and Inter Company Transfer (ICT) the time given to applicants to respond to any Home Office request for further information following an application will be reduced from 28 calendar days to 10 working days.
Tier 2 (General)
-The salary threshold for experienced workers has been increased from £20,800 to £25,000 (new entrants has been held at £20,800) There are a limited number of roles which will be exempt until July 2019, for a full list of exemptions, please refer to the Statement of Changes.
-As a transitional arrangement, the £25,000 threshold will not apply to workers sponsored in Tier 2 (General) before 24 November 2016, if they apply to extend their stay in the category.
-The Government intends to increase the threshold again to £30,000 in April 2017.
-Sponsor duties for applicants in graduate training schemes will no longer include carrying out a new Resident Labour Market test if the worker changes occupation within the programme or at the end of the programme.
-Nurses are remaining on the Shortage Occupation List but a new requirement is that a Resident Labour Market Test will have to be carried out before a nurse is granted a Certificate of Sponsorship. This will come into force on or after 12 December 2016.
-From April 2017 a change to the Rules around advertising will be made, closing a loophole through which a sponsor had been able to offer a job to a migrant 4 years after carrying out a milkround without the need for a further recruitment search.
-Changes are also being made to prevent switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2 where the applicant is relying on a qualification obtained via supplementary study during Tier 4 leave.
Tier 2 (ICT)
-The salary for short-term ICT applicants has been increased to £30,000 for new applicants. A transitional arrangement applies for those already in the UK under the short-term route.
-The closure of the Skills Transfer sub-category for new applicants.
-Changes to the Graduate trainee sub-category. The salary threshold has been reduced from £24,800 to £23,000 and the number of spaces per sponsor has been increased from 5 to 20 per year.
All above changes will come into force on 24 November 2016 with the exception of the new requirement of the Resident Labour Market Test for Nurses.
Our Corporate Team specialise in Sponsor Licence and Tier 2 applications and can advise as to your new duties and assist with applications.