Mar17

March 2017 - Statement of Changes – UK

 

The Home Office published new Statement of Changes that will potentially change the immigration landscape in the UK. Some of the changes pertaining to hiring and sponsoring foreign workers in the UK follow the recommendation from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). We have drafted a summary of the changes that we believe are relevant to our partners and clients.

Changes relating to Tier 1 of the Points-Based System

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

The proposed changes provides a clearer definition of invested finds and clarifies the specified evidence on job creation, so that an applicant can provide confirmation from an accountant that their business did not employ any workers prior to their involvement.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

The Immigration Rules are being amended, such that should there be remaining places in the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) limit after the initial round of allocations, the Secretary of State may allocate additional places to endorsing bodies by ad hoc request throughout the remainder of the year, rather than at a fixed point in the autumn (30 September).

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)  

Minor changes relating to endorsements by two DCBs, Arts Council England and Tech City UK, are being made at those bodies’ requests.  

Changes relating to Tier 2 of the Points-Based System  

Tier 2 (General)  

The following changes are being made following the proposal by the MAC:  

  • The salary threshold for experienced workers is being increased to £30,000 for the majority of new applicants. The salary threshold for new entrants remains at £20,800.  The new salary threshold will not apply to nurses, medical radiographers, paramedics and secondary school teachers in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, and Mandarin until July 2019.
  • Changes are being made to support positions associated with the relocation of a high value business to the UK or a significant new inward investment project, where the sponsor is a newly-registered (within the last 3 years) branch or subsidiary of an overseas business and the investment involves new capital expenditure of £27 million or the creation of at least 21 new UK jobs. Sponsors in such cases will be exempt from carrying out a Resident Labour Market Test and from the requirement to assign a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship under the Tier 2 (General) limit.
  • Annual updates are being made to the salary thresholds for high earners (whose sponsors are exempt from carrying out a Resident Labour Market Test and from the requirement to assign a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship under the Tier 2 (General) limit) and for indefinite leave to remain applications. The salary threshold will be increased to 159 600 GBP (previously 155 300 GBP)

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer (ICT))  

The changes affecting the Tier 2 ICT include:  

  • The Short Term Staff sub-category is being closed;
  • The salary threshold for senior transferees who are able to extend their total stay in the category to up to nine years is being reduced, from £155,300 to £120,000;
  • The requirement for transferees to have at least one year’s experience working for the sponsor’s linked entity overseas is being removed for applicants paid £73,900 or above.

Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (ICT)  

Introduction of the Skills Charge

The applicable skills charge should be paid fully as paid fully as part of the application in order for the Certificate of Sponsorship to be considered as valid.

Clarity on allowable allowances

Changes are being made to provide greater clarity and consistency as to which types of allowance will be considered against the salary requirements. In addition, the closure of the ICT Short Term Staff sub-category means that accommodation allowances can form a maximum of 30% (rather than 40%) of the total salary package for all ICT workers (except Graduate Trainees).   

Changes relating to the visitor rules

The visitor rules are being amended to make clear that applications for visit visas can be made at any post in the world, which has the ability to accept such applications.

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