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Tier 2 changes being enforced from April 2017

The Tier 2 (General) category is for migrant workers with an offer of a skilled job from a licensed employer which cannot be filled by a resident worker. The following changes are being made following the review of Tier 2 by the MAC: The following changes are being made following the review of Tier 2 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 changes laid in November 2016 (HC 667) exempted nurses, medical radiographers, paramedics and secondary school teachers in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, and Mandarin from the new salary threshold until July 2019. This exemption continues, and a further change is being made to award these occupations extra points when allocating places in the Tier 2 (General) limit, to bring them into parity with occupations paying higher salaries. The additional points only apply where such jobs are not already prioritised due to being included on the Shortage Occupation List. Changes are being made to support posts associated with the relocation of a high value business to the UK or a significant new inward investment project, where...

Changes relating to Tier 4 of the Points-Based System – 17th March 2017

Changes relating to Tier 4 of the Points-Based System  Tier 4 of the Points Based System is the route used by non-EEA nationals wishing to study in the UK. Tier 4 is comprised of two categories: Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child). The following changes are being made in Tier 4: Tier 4 students who have work rights are limited in the number of hours they may work per week. An amendment is being made to set out a definition of a week, in order to ensure clarity for students, employers and sponsors. An amendment is being made to clarify that only where an applicant is being sponsored wholly by a Government or international scholarship agency by means of an award which covers both fees and maintenance must they provide the unconditional written consent of the sponsoring Government or agency to the application, and the specified documents set out in paragraph 245A. Under Tier 4 (General), if the course is below degree level, the grant of entry clearance or leave must not lead to the applicant having been granted more than 2 years in the UK as a Tier 4 migrant since the age of 18 to study courses that did not consist of degree level study....

The Home Office has published its response to two reviews of Tier 2 policy, undertaken by the Migration Advisory Committee

Tier 2 is the main immigration route for non-EEA nationals to apply to work in the UK. The proposed changes are balanced to ensure that employers are incentivised to up-skill and train resident workers, whilst making sure they can continue to access migrant workers when needed. The main changes include: Tier 2 (General) salary thresholds for experienced workers will be increased to £25,000 in autumn 2016, and £30,000 in April 2017. However, some health and education professionals will be exempt from the higher threshold until July 2019. The minimum threshold of £20,800 for new entrants will be maintained. Tier 4 students switching to a Tier 2 visa will not be subject to a limit on numbers and their sponsor will not have to carry out a Resident Labour Market Test. Nurses will remain on the Shortage Occupation List, but sponsors will need to carry out a Resident Labour Market Test before recruiting a non-EEA nurse the current intra-company transfer provisions are being simplified by requiring all intra-company transferees to qualify under a single visa category with a minimum salary threshold of £41,500, with the exception of the graduate trainees. The Immigration Skills Charge will be levied on Tier 2 employers at...

Tier 2 immigration skills charge from April 2017

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. Key points to consider The charge is a flat rate of £1,000 per person per year of the sponsorship. Employers must pay the ISC upfront at the point a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) is assigned to an individual. Exemptions apply to Tier 4 students switching to Tier 2, PhD occupations and the individual's family (dependants). The ISC does not apply to CoS assigned to individuals before 6 April 2017 or to existing Tier 2 workers already in the UK before 6 April 2017 who extend their stay or change job or employer. The funds raised from the ISC will be used to address the skills gap in the domestic workforce. We are awaiting further details to be released by The Department of Education. Salary Thresholds The minimum salary threshold for Tier 2 applications is increasing as outlined in the table below. For experienced workers, there...

Secure English Language Testing (SELT)

What is a SELT provider? For certain visa applications applicants must demonstrate a certain level of English language ability. This can be through passing a test with a Home Office approved Secure English Language Testing (SELT) provider. Which test should I take? It is for you to decide which SELT test to take. These tests on the published list offered by Trinity College London and the IELTS SELT Consortium are acceptable for a number of immigration routes. You should take the level of test required for the immigration route you are applying for. What is the difference between the tests? There are two types of test as different immigration routes require different English language ability. The GESE and Life Skills tests will assess your speaking and listening abilities. The ISE and IELTS tests will test your reading, writing, speaking and listening abilities. What is the process for taking a SELT? You can only take a SELT test offered by either: Trinity College London (UK only); or, IELTS SELT Consortium (UK or overseas). You will need to book your test using the relevant online booking system. The details used to book your test must be as stated on your passport or...

Tier 2 changes : criminal checks

Information on the criminal record certificate requirement From April 2017, the Government plans to extend the requirement to provide a criminal record certificate to the following applicants: From April 2017, the Government plans to extend the requirement to provide a criminal record certificate to the following applicants: Tier 2 (General) entry clearance applicants coming to work in the education, health and social care sectors. Partners of the main applicants as above. Partners applying overseas to join an existing Tier 2 (General) migrant working in one of these sectors. Certificates must be provided for any country in which the applicant has resided for 12 months or more (whether continuously or in total) in the last 10 years prior to their application, while aged 18 or over. If you are a prospective Tier 2 (General) migrant in an occupation defined by one of SOC codes above, your prospective employer should inform you of this requirement when they assign a Certificate of Sponsorship. If you apply after the requirement takes effect in April 2017, you must provide: Either an original or scanned copy of a criminal record certificate for each country (excluding the UK) where you have resided for 12 months or more...

Matters before the tribunal

Matters before the tribunal Section 85 provides that on an appeal against a decision, the tribunal may consider evidence about any matter which it thinks relevant to the substance of the decision, including a matter arising after the date of the decision. However, there are restrictions on the consideration of matters which constitute ‘new matters’. A new matter is a ground of appeal not previously considered by the Secretary of State (SSHD). A person may wish to raise a ‘new matter ‘as part of an appeal under section 82(1). The tribunal however, must not consider a new matter unless the SSHD has given consent for the tribunal to do so. What is the difference between a new matter and new evidence? A new matter and new evidence are different. The SSHD (usually the presenting officer (PO) handling the appeal) will need to consider carefully whether the new issue raised amounts to a new matter. A matter is a ‘new matter’ if: it is a human rights or protection claim, and the SSHD has not previously considered the matter in the context of the decision under appeal or a response to a section 120 notice A ’new matter’ must be clearly...

Summary of the rights of appeal

There are confusions on what decision generates a right to appeal against the decision. Rights of appeal exist against the following decisions: Refusal of a human rights or protection claim and revocation of protection status. These appeal rights are in Part 5 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (the 2002 Act). Refusal of entry clearance and refusal to vary leave to remain, in some situations, where the application was made before the Immigration Act 2014 was in force. Refusal to issue an EEA family permit as well as certain other EEA decisions. These appeal rights are in Regulation 26 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006. Deprivation of citizenship. Section 40A of the British Nationality Act 1981 applies. Where there is no right of appeal, it may be possible for a person to apply for an administrative review of a refusal of an application if it is an eligible decision and it is alleged that a case working error has occurred. These concepts are defined in Appendix AR of the Immigration Rules and the guidance on Administrative Review. The appeals system contains a number of controls to prevent abuse of the system. In particular there are mechanisms to...

Section 3D leave: transitional cases

There is a section on transitional cases where section 3D of the Immigration Act 1971 continues to apply pending an appeal against a decision to revoke or curtail leave made before 6 April 2015 (where the decision gave rise to a right of appeal). That right of appeal was abolished by the changes to section 82 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 fully implemented on 6 April 2015. Section 11 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 added section 3D to the Immigration Act 1971. When leave to enter or remain is curtailed or revoked, section 3D extends that leave while an appeal against that decision can be brought or is pending. Following the changes in appeal rights by the Immigration Act 2014, decisions to curtail or revoke leave no longer give rise to a right of appeal. Section 3D therefore continues to apply only to people whose leave was revoked or curtailed before 6 April 2015 and who have appeals pending against the decision to revoke or curtail their leave (under the pre 6 April 2015 appeals system). People on section 3D leave cannot make an application for extension or variation of their leave. This means...

Croatian nationals living and working in the UK

From 1 July 2013, Croatia will be members of the European Union (EU). As a result, Croatian nationals can enter any EU Member State (including the UK) without a visa.  You will need to show your passport or national identity card when you enter the UK. When you arrive at the port or airport, you should use the channel marked EEA/EU where it is available. Can my family come with me to the United Kingdom? Yes, if you have the right to live in the UK, your family may join you. However, if your family members are Croatian nationals and they wish to work in the UK, they may require permission to do so unless they can show that they are exempt from worker authorisation. Family members who are not nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) should obtain an EEA family permit for travel to the UK, including if they are accompanying or coming to join you in the UK. They must get the permit before they travel to the UK. If they try to enter the UK without an EEA family permit they may be refused entry. How long can I stay in the UK? You have a right...