Following the Migration Advisory Committee’s January recommendations regarding the Government’s proposals to restrict Tier 2 of the Points Based System, the Home Office has now announced the changes that will be implemented across Tier 2.
Compared to the initial radical proposals put forward by the Government to restrict Tier 2 last summer, the Home Office’s response is less dramatic than we had anticipated. Employers can take some comfort from the fact that concerns voiced during last year’s consultation exercises were largely listened to. Confirmation that Tier 4 students eligible to switch into Tier 2 following graduation from a UK university will continue to be exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test and not subject to a limit on numbers will be particularly welcomed – the Home Office has acknowledged the importance of attracting international students looking to undertake skilled work in the UK after their studies. In addition, the Home Office has confirmed that the minimum service requirement for Tier 2 (ICT) will not be increased from 12 to 24 months and the ability of Tier 2 dependants to take employment in the UK will not be affected.