Significant changes to the Tier 2 category due in early 2017

Back in March 2016, the Home Office published its response to two reviews of Tier 2 policy, undertaken by the Migration Advisory Committee.

The changes aim to raise the Tier 2 salary thresholds to allegedly make it harder for UK businesses to use foreign workers to undercut wages. In addition, a new immigration skills charge will be levied to invest in the training of the local labour force.

Some of the changes were meant to be introduced in autumn 2016, but so far no announcement has been made and therefore, we are now anticipating that the Home Office will wait until early 2017 to roll out their plan.

What are likely to be the additional costs to a UK employer?

  • Tier 2 (General) salary minimum thresholds for experienced workers will be increased to £25,000 and £30,000 around April 2017. The minimum threshold for new entrants under the Tier 2 General category will remain at £20,800.
  • The Immigration Skills Charge will be levied on Tier 2 employers at a rate of £1,000 per person per year (£364 for smaller businesses and charities).  PhD level occupations, the Intra Company Transfer Graduate Trainee category, and those switching from a Tier 4 student visa to a Tier 2 visa should be exempt.
  • The current Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer category will be simplified whereby all transferees will qualify under a single visa category with a minimum salary threshold of £41,500, with the exception of the graduate trainees.
  • Under the Graduate Trainee category, the current salary threshold will be reduced from £24,800 to £23,000, and increase the number of trainees that an employer may bring to the UK from five to 20.
  • The Skills Transfer category will be closed to new applications and increase the minimum salary threshold for the Short Term category to £30,000.
  • All intra-company transferees will be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.


Other changes might include:

  • The Home Office will prioritize high-value businesses in the UK which support inward investment by making more certificates available to them and waiving the resident labour market test.
  • The minimum salary threshold for Tier 2 ICT working in the UK for between five and nine years will be reduced from £155,300 to £120,000.
  • In addition, the one year experience requirement for Tier 2 ICT will be removed where the worker is paid over £73,900.


If you are currently looking to hire a migrant, please call us now on 02033843075 in order to avoid higher cost in the future and to ensure a successful application.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.