Changes to Tier 2 of the Points-Based System

For 2013/2014 the current Tier 2 (General) limit will continue to be set at 20,700 places per year. This will not be incorporated in the Immigration Rules. The existing Codes of Practice are being replaced to reflect the change of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 2000 system to the new SOC 2010 system. In line with the changes the minimum annual salary thresholds are being increased by 1.4%, to the following amounts:

CategoryCriteriaCurrent thresholdNew threshold
Tier 2 (General)Jobs which qualify for Tier 2 (General)£20,000£20,300
Tier 2 (General)Jobs which are exempt from advertising in Jobcentre Plus£70,000£71,000
Tier 2 (General)Jobs which are exempt from the annual limit and the Resident Labour Market Test£150,000£152,100
Tier 2(Intra-Company Transfer)Jobs which qualify for the Short Term Staff, Skills Transfer of Graduate Trainee£24,000£24,300
Tier 2 (ICT)Jobs which qualify for the Long Term Staff category£40,000£40,600
Tier 2 (ICT)Workers who can extend their stay in the UK for up to nine years£150,000£152,100
Tier 2 (General)Earnings which qualify for settlement£35,000 (for applications made on or after 6th April 2016)£35,500 (for applications made on or after 6th April 2018)

 

Tier 2 migrants who leave the UK and whose leave expires are subject to a 12 month “cooling off period” before they can return in Tier 2. However, from 6 April Tier 2 migrants with a salary of £152,100 a year or more will not be subject to the ‘coolling off period’.

In addition, Intra-Company Transferees earning £152,100 a year or more will also be exempted from the current requirement of having to prove their English language ability when they extend their stay in the UK beyond three years.

Changes are being made to the post-study work provision for students graduating in the UK to switch into Tier 2. These requirements are being changed to allow breaks in leave of up to 28 days, in line with the policy on overstayers established in HC 194 (laid before Parliament on 13 June 2012). The changes also clarify that undergraduate Masters degrees are eligible under the provisions as well as postgraduate Masters degrees.

If you are planning to sponsor a migrant under the Tier 2 scheme and wish to ensure the process goes smoothly please contact us for professional advice.