Brief summary of changes to Tier 2

Following the recent Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules presented to Parliament on 15 June 2018, please see a summary of the changes to Tier 2 Visa Category below:

Doctors and Nurses

Changes are being made to exempt doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 (general) annual limit of 20,700 places.

This is the government’s response to the particular shortages and pressure facing the NHS at the current time. The limit has been oversubscribed in each month since December 2017, therefore action was imminent.

The changes will mean that health sector employers will be able to sponsor doctors and nurses without requiring restricted Tier 2 certificates of sponsorship or putting pressure on the limit. This will free up places within the limit for other key roles which contribute to the UK economy.

The Shortage Occupation List is an official list of occupations for which there are not enough resident workers to fill vacancies. All applications for doctors and nurses not currently recognised on the Shortage Occupation List will continue to be required to demonstrate that they have met the requirements of the Resident Labour Market Test.

Doctors currently recognised on the Shortage Occupation List will continue to be exempt from the RLMT.

Croatian nationals

Amendments are being made so that applications for Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship for Croatian nationals no longer count towards the Tier 2 limit.

This is because Croatian nationals will no longer need to apply for work authorisation in this category. The 5th Anniversary of Croatia’s accession to the EU means that the transitional controls previous applicable to Croatian nationals are now lifted.

Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)

From 14 June 2012, the skills threshold for jobs sponsored under Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (ICT) increased from Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) level 4 to RQF level 6.

The transitional arrangements, for those previously in these routes to extend their stay, are no longer needed and are being closed.

Provisions for these migrants to apply for indefinite leave to remain are being retained. The Government signalled in March 2016 that this closure would take place in July 2018. There is now a published guidance for Tier 2 sponsors setting out the latter.

Tier 2 migrants holding more than 10% shares in their sponsor

A change is being made to expand the restriction on Tier 2 migrants holding more than 10% of shares in their sponsor so as also to restrict such ownership being held indirectly, such as via another corporate entity.

Evidential requirement for Tier 2 migrants applying for Settlement

A change is being made to the evidential requirements for Tier 2 migrants applying for settlement, who have been absent from work on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave. These applicants are additionally required to provide evidence of the underlying adoption or birth that necessitated their leave. These changes bring the requirements in line with similar requirements elsewhere in the Immigration Rules.

Resident Labour Market Test

References to Find a Job, the service replacing Universal Jobmatch, have been included for the Resident Labour Market Test.

Standard Occupation code for midwives

Minor drafting corrections are being made to correct the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code used for midwives. These corrections have no impact on the way applications for midwives are considered.

Please note: The statement of changes shall take effect from 6 July 2018.*