Business Immigration Update: RIP Tier 2 ICT Short Term and Other Changes from 6 April 2017

    View Author March 2017

    Further to the government’s initial announcement last March the second wave of changes to Tier 2 have now been confirmed.

    The following changes which, if not all welcomed, were expected, will apply to applicants who have had a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned to them on or after 6 April 2017.

    Tier 2 General
    • Increase in the minimum salary threshold for Tier 2 General to £30,000, whilst the current threshold for new entrants to remain at £20,800. Certain public sector occupations to remain exempt from the higher threshold until July 2019.
    • Threshold for Tier 2 General high earners to increase to £159,600.
    • Criminal record certificates to be required for Tier 2 General Migrants working in the education, health and social care sectors.
    Tier 2 ICT
    • Closure of the Tier 2 ICT Short Term category leaving, with the exception of Graduate Trainees, just one route – Tier 2 ICT Long Term – with a minimum salary threshold of £41,500.
    • Salary threshold for Tier 2 ICT high earners able to extend to nine years to be reduced to £120,000.
    • Removal of the one year’s prior overseas experience requirement for intra-company transferees who will be paid £73,900 or more.
    • Immigration Health Surcharge to apply to Tier 2 ICT Migrants and their dependants.
    Both Categories
    • Increase to the appropriate salary rates as detailed in the Codes of Practice (SOC Codes).
    • Introduction of the Immigration Skills Charge of £1,000 per CoS per year, with a reduced rate of £364 applying to small and charitable sponsors. Exemptions to apply to PhD level occupations, the Tier 2 ICT Graduate Trainee category and Tier 4 Students switching into Tier 2 General. In addition, the charge will not apply to Tier 2 migrants already in the UK on 6 April 2017 and who are extending their leave on or after this date.
    • A slight increase in government application fees is also expected but details have yet to be announced.

    These changes will be covered at our forthcoming business immigration seminars in London on 27 March (limited spaces remain) and in Birmingham on 30 March.

    If you have any questions relating to to these forthcoming changes please contact one of the lawyers listed below.