The government announced last year that it would introduce changes to the Immigration Rules in two phases, in Autumn 2016 and in April 2017.

Employers should now be prepared for the second phase, which is expected to take effect from April 6, 2017:

  • As previously advised, the Immigration Skills Charge will be levied on Tier 2 employers at a rate of £1,000 per Certificate of Sponsorship per year from April 2017. Smaller businesses and charities will be charged a lower amount of £364. There will be an exemption for PhD occupations, Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Graduate Trainees and Tier 4 students switching to Tier 2;
  • Tier 2 (General) salary thresholds for experienced workers will be increased to £30,000. Some health and education professionals will be exempt from the higher threshold until July 2019. The minimum threshold for new entrants will remain at £20,800;
  • The Tier 2 ICT Short Term category will be closed to new applications, with no transitional arrangements – any application to extend under this category must be made prior to April 5, 2017;
  • All intra-company transferees will be required to qualify under a single visa category with a minimum salary threshold of £41,500. An exception will apply to the Graduate Trainee category, where the salary threshold will be reduced from £24,800 to £23,000. The number of trainees that an employer may bring to the UK will increase from five to 20;
  • The minimum salary threshold for intra-company transferees working in the UK for between five and nine years will be lowered from £155,300 to £120,000. The requirement for applicants to have one year’s experience where they are being paid over £73,900 will be removed

There will be no change to the work rights of dependents of Tier 2 migrants. The above changes are due to take effect April 6, 2017.

Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.