UK Immigration Update – Statement of changes

March 17, 2017 All, UK
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UK Immigration Update – Statement of changes

New Statement of Changes to the UK Immigration Rules The Home Office has laid before Parliament the latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, ushering in the additional alterations…

New Statement of Changes to the UK Immigration Rules

The Home Office has laid before Parliament the latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, ushering in the additional alterations and refinements arising from the Migration Advisory Committee’s 2016 recommendations on numerous areas of the Rules. Below is a summary of the headline changes.

 

Tier 2

The majority of changes in Tier 2 take effect from 6 April 2017:

  • Immigration Skills Charge – as Ferguson Snell recently reported on, Tier 2 sponsors will be required to pay £1,000 (£365 for small or charity-status sponsors) for each year a Tier 2 migrant is to be sponsored for, payable at the point of assigning the individual’s Certificate of Sponsorship (on or after 6 April 2017). For full details, including when exemptions apply, please head to our recent newsletter here.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) – Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) migrants will now be subject to the IHS, joining most other visa categories of applications for limited leave to enter or remain in the UK. Applications for this visa category will attract £200 per year the visa is issued for (e.g. £1,000 for a five year Tier 2 (General) visa), including dependants of the main applicant (e.g. £3,000 for a partner and two children applying as dependants), payable at the point of applying for the visa(s).
  • The minimum salary sponsors can pay a Tier 2 (General) worker rises from £25,000 to £30,000 per year for experienced workers (specific health and education sector roles are exempt from this requirement until 1 July 2019)
  • Closure of the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Short Term Staff category – unless applying in the ICT (Graduate Trainee) category, all ICTs must qualify under the ICT Long Term category, with a minimum salary threshold of £41,500 (or the appropriate salary as stipulated in the Codes of Practice, if higher).
  • Removal of the need for ICT Long Term applicants to have worked for the organisation overseas for at least 12 months before applying where paid £73,900 per year or above.
  • Reduction of “high-earner” salary from £155,300 to £120,000 in the ICT Long Term category, meaning qualifying individuals can stay in the route for up to nine years, rather than the current five years’ maximum.
  • For Tier 2 (General) posts supporting the relocation of high value business to the UK or a significant new inward investment project, a waiver from having to conduct the Resident Labour Market Test will apply, as well as being considered outside the Tier 2 (General) annual limit.
  • Introduce clarity and consistency as to the types of allowance that may be considered as part of the total package for the purposes of salary minimums under Tier 2.
  • Updates to the occupational salary rates in the codes of practice.
  • Requirement for Tier 2 (General) applicants and their adult dependants to secure Overseas Criminal Record Certificates where filling posts in education, health and social care sectors. For more information, see our recent newsletter here.

 

Other changes of note

  • Reduction of the overstaying period before a re-entry ban applies from 90 to 30 days.
  • Applications for visitor visas may be submitted at any overseas posts designated to accept such applications.
  • In the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category, technical changes to the definition of ‘invested funds’ and the evidential requirements.
  • Minor changes to Appendix FM provisions affecting family and private life applications.

A detailed analysis of the Statement of Changes shall be issued by Ferguson Snell shortly.

 

 

For further information on any part of this newsletter, please contact your dedicated Immigration Consultant via emails on comms@fergusonsnell.co.uk or call us on +44 (0) 20 3668 2700.