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An Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) is being introduced as part of upcoming changes to the Tier 2 (General) immigration route from 6 April 2017. The ISC will be paid by employers who recruit skilled workers from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) through the route. This will have implications for your recruitment activities outside of the EEA.
The minimum salary threshold for Tier 2 applications is increasing as outlined in the table below. For experienced workers, there is an increase from £25,000 to £30,000 from 6 April 2017. This new salary threshold will only affect those making a new application under Tier 2 (general) for the first time. Those already in Tier 2 or applying for extensions or change of employer before this date will not be affected.
|Tier 2 (General) overall minimum thresholds||Current salary thresholds||New salary threshold||What does this mean in practice?|
|Experienced workers||£20,800||£30,000||Phased change: £25,000 from autumn 2016 to £30,00 from April 2017.
Nurses, medical radiographers and paramedics are exempt from increase until July 2019
|New entrants||£20,800||£20,800||Separate minimum salary threshold for new entrants into Tier 2 (General). New entrants are students switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2, new graduate recruits where a resident labour market test (RLMT) has been met through university ‘milkround’ recruitment, and a person aged 25 or under.|
Pay or allowances which are not guaranteed (such as overtime or performance pay) or which would not be offered to resident workers in similar circumstances, should not be included. Earnings from supplementary employment should also not be included.
It is important that the guaranteed salary package stated on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) matches (or is within the range) stated on the original advertisement for the role, otherwise the CoS application will not be granted.
From April 2017, all Tier 2 applicants and their adult dependant(s) must provide a criminal record check for any country they have lived in for more than 12 months in the last 10 years. Employers with a sponsorship license are advised to inform prospective employees of these new requirements as early as possible.
The minimum salary threshold first increase to £25,000 for experienced workers took effect from 24 November 2016. The increased threshold only applies to those making a new application under Tier 2 (General) for the first time from 24 November 2016. Those already in Tier 2 or applying for extensions or change of employer before this date will not be affected.
On 11 January 2016, the government set out its proposed changes to the fees for visas, immigration and nationality applications for 2016–17.
In summary, from 18 March 2016: