Important changes to the TIER 2 visa category
01 May 2012
Following the Migration Advisory Committee's report in October 2011 concerning the sponsorship route the government announced new changes to the Tier 2 G category.
These changes are part of the government's radical overhaul of the immigration system. According to the UK Border Agency firm action has already been taken on the student route, settlement and those coming here to work, in order to bring immigration levels back down to 'sustainable' levels in the UK. However, according to the government these changes are key to improving the selectivity of the UK immigration system - ensuring that only the brightest and the best are able to come to the UK and work.
Summary of the changes:
The Tier 2 (General) limit will remain at its current level of 20,700 for the next 2 years until April 2014. Each month there will be 1725 restricted Certificates of Sponsorship available for allocation but, those earning a salary of £150,000 or more will not be subject to the limit. Prospective workers will still need to have a graduate level job, speak an intermediate level of English and meet specific salary and employment requirements before they are able to work here.
From 14 June 2012 the skill level required by migrants wishing to work in the UK will increase from NQF 4 to NQF 6. This means the number of middle-management jobs such as IT technicians and security managers will no longer be open to migrant workers. However, highly-skilled occupations such as architect, teacher or chemical engineer will still be available.
Additionally, the rules for businesses around advertising highly paid (above £70,000) and PhD jobs will be relaxed. This will cut bureaucracy, meaning companies will no longer have to advertise vacancies through JobCentrePlus, where they are unlikely to get applicants for these types of jobs.
From 14 June 2012 the maintenance will be increased to £900. Furthermore the UKBA will be taking a stricter approach in relations to those migrants who cease their employment with their sponsor. As a result, the migrant's leave might be curtailed a month after the employment has ended and the worker will then have 60 days to make an application to vary their leave to remain.