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.
- 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.