Category Archives: Tier 2 (Work Permit) News

Skilled Meat Boners Given The Chop Under Tier 2 General

Professor David Metcalf, the Chair of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) said that \’Placing limits on migration requires that we are far more selective and ensure only highly skilled migrant workers can come to work in the UK. For instance, only the top 5% of chef jobs will be open to Tier 2 workers under these recommendations as a result of a more stringent earnings threshold.’

The Migration Advisory Committee also said that the number of UK jobs available to Tier 2 migrants via the shortage occupation route has dropped substantially since they were asked to provide recommendations, from 1 million jobs in 2008 to 230,000 jobs today (less than 1% of the labour market total).

Recently it was reported that the United Kingdom is currently experiencing a critical shortage of IT professionals skilled as security consultants and that the ‘importance of Information Technology to the UK’s infrastructure has been underestimated’. According to an industry expert, Kevin Streater who is the IT and Telecoms Executive Director at the Open University (OU), there are currently a number of highly paid security vacancies in the United Kingdom but no suitable candidates to fill them. The warning comes following the 2011 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study (GISWS) which said that the Information Technology Industry as a whole appears to be resisting new technological trends such as social media and cloud computing.

The Chair of the Cyber Security Challenge Talent Management Committee, Kevin Streater, said that \”The importance of IT to the UK\’s infrastructure has been underestimated. We need security professionals to protect the UK\’s global internet connection. For example, if a UK bank\’s infrastructure goes down, there will be huge damage to the UK economy. Only a small number of people are addressing the skills needed.

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.

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REC Calls Tier 2 Visa Changes a Welcome Step In The Right Direction

The Recruitment & Employment Confederations Head of Policy, Gillian Econopouly, said that “REC members have first hand knowledge of the talent shortages facing many British businesses. The shortage of suitably skilled workers in many sectors is a reality, and while it will not be rectified overnight, this announcement is a welcome step in the right direction. Immigration policy must be flexible and reflect the evolving needs of the UK labour market. These measures, together with the exemption on intra-company transfers, show that the Government recognises the value of highly-skilled workers to the UK and its businesses. We will continue to articulate the views of the industry to Government as recruiters can offer a market-based outlook on what is a highly politicised issue.”

Key Tier 2 changes due in April 2011;

  • A limit on the number of Tier 2 General Visas issued in 2011 / 2012 will be set at 20,700 Certificates of Sponsorship
  • 1,000 visas will be made available for a new ‘Exceptional Talent’ route (Nobel Prize winners etc)
  • Tier 2 Certificates of Sponsorship will be split into two categories:
    • ‘Restricted’ Certificates of Sponsorship
    • ‘Unrestricted’ Certificates of Sponsorship
  • Tier 2 Transfers will fall under ‘Unrestricted’ Certificates of Sponsorships therefore they will not be included in the Immigration Cap, unlike under the interim Immigration Cap
  • If sponsors apply for more Certificates of Sponsorship than there are available in a month Certificates of Sponsorship will be allocated further to a ranking system (Shortage Occupations will be dealt with first)
  • Companies will have to apply to the UK Border Agency for a ‘Restricted’ Certificate of Sponsorship. The change marks a return to the old ‘Work Permit’ days when companies had to make a case to employ a migrant and then submit a Work Permit application to the UK Border Agency (or Workpermits UK as it was back in the old days) for consideration
  • It will become slightly more difficult for individuals to secure Indefinite Leave to Remain with major changes expected later in the year (The Government are taking the first steps to ‘end the link between temporary migration for work and staying in the UK permanently’)

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). Commonwealth Contractors also provides updates on UK Immigration News.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners

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Tier 2 Statement of Intent Announced

Changes to the Tier 2 System;

  • Tier 2 Certificates of Sponsorship will be split into two categories; ‘Restricted’ Certificates of Sponsorship AND ‘Unrestricted’ Certificates of Sponsorship
    • Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship:
      • Sponsors wishing to employ a worker in a role subject to the Immigration Cap will have to apply to the UK Border Agency for an ‘Unrestricted’ Certificate of Sponsorship. Sponsors will need to show;
      • Whether the role is on the Shortage Occupation List, OR
      • That a Resident Labour Market Search has been completed
      • That the job is on the Graduate Occupations List or jobs eligible for Tier 2, AND
      • That the role meets the requirements for the occupation as specified on the Shortage Occupation List or the sponsor has carried out a Resident Labour Market Search, AND
      • The job meets the minimum salary requirements
    • Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship:
      • Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship can be issued to migrants without first applying to the UK Border Agency. Types of employment included;
        • Intra Company Transfers
        • Where an existing employee on a Tier 2 General visa wishes to extend his / her stay
        • Where an existing Tier 2 General visa holder ‘switches’ to a new Employer (License Holder)
        • Where a migrant on another type of visa switches into Tier 2 employment with a sponsor
        • Where the salary is for more than £150,000
        • Where the employer is employing a Sports Person or Minister of Religion
  • If sponsors apply for more Certificates of Sponsorship than there are available CoSs will be allocated further to a ranking system
  • The change marks a return to the old ‘Work Permit’ days when companies had to make a case to employ a migrant and then submit a Work Permit application to the UK Border Agency (or Workpermits UK as it was back in the old days) for consideration. Upon approval of the Work Permit the migrant could apply for entry clearance at a diplomatic post abroad. The new system will be much the same with sponsors applying for a Certificate of Sponsorship (effectively the new version of the old Work Permit) and then once approved migrants apply for entry clearance on a Tier 2 General Visa (formerly entry clearance on a UK Work Permit) abroad.
  • The new system will also see the Government take the first steps to ‘ending the link between temporary migration for work and staying in the UK permanently’ (Indefinite Leave to Remain). The UK Border Agency has announced that it will;
    • Introduce a new income requirement for Tier 1 (General), Tier 2 (General) and Work Permit holders applying for settlement
    • Amend the English Language & Life in the UK Requirement to make it more difficult
    • Clarify the criminality test applied to all applicants for Settlement

Comments from around the Industry

The Immigration Minister, Damian Green, said that ‘Britain will benefit from migration provided it is controlled and directed towards improving our economy. I am not seeking zero or negative net migration. Our aim is to reduce the level of migration down to the levels of the 1990s – tens of thousands each year, not hundreds of thousands.\’

Imran Khan of the Campaign for Science and Engineering also said that ‘I\’m delighted that the government, and the UK Border Agency in particular, have listened to our concerns. They\’ve responded with a package that rewards people who want to come and invest their intellectual capital in this country. I think we can see this as an important victory for the science and engineering sector.\’

Adam Marshall, the Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said that \”Business said loud and clear that any new immigration rules must still let companies access the right talent, at the right time, when domestic workers are unable to fill skills gaps.  The new rules show that, after a period of great uncertainty, the government is listening harder to business concerns.\”

The Global Head of Immigration at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Julia Onlow-Cole, said that “Many companies need a more international workforce as their operations become increasingly global. Under this system, they worry that their graduate trainees will get squeezed out, because trainee salaries are at the bottom of the scale.”

Clive Davies, Director at Robert Half UK “The finance industry in London is very international, and London is also home to the head offices of companies with operations across the globe. Because the rules are changing fast, companies planning recruitments from overseas need to take early legal advice to be sure of avoiding problems and delays.”

To read more about the changes to the Tier 2 system please visit the following link on the UK Border Agency Website; changes to the Tier 2 system

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). Commonwealth Contractors also provides updates on UK Immigration News.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners

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Changes To Tier 2 A Throwback To The Old Work Permit System

The changes to Tier 2 Visa system mark a return to the old ‘Work Permit’ days when companies had to make a case to employ a migrant and then submit a Work Permit application to the UK Border Agency (or Workpermits UK as it was back in the old days) for consideration. Upon approval of the Work Permit the migrant could apply for entry clearance at a diplomatic post abroad. The new system will be much the same with sponsors applying for a Certificate of Sponsorship (effectively the new version of the old Work Permit) and then once approved migrants apply for entry clearance on a Tier 2 General Visa (formerly entry clearance on a UK Work Permit) abroad.

The new system will also see the Government take the first steps to ‘ending the link between temporary migration for work and staying in the UK permanently’ (Indefinite Leave to Remain). The UK Border Agency has announced that it will;

  • Introduce a new income requirement for Tier 1 (General), Tier 2 (General) and Work Permit holders applying for settlement
  • Amend the English Language & Life in the UK Requirement to make it more difficult
  • Clarify the criminality test applied to all applicants for Settlement

David Green, the Conservative Immigration Minister, said that ‘Britain needs to attract the brightest and the best to fill jobs gaps but this should never be at the expense of workers already here. We have worked closely with businesses while designing this system, and made it clear employers should look first to people who are out of work and who are already in this country. And those that do come here to work must know that we intend to make the route to settlement tougher. It cannot be right that people coming to fill temporary skills gaps have open access to permanent settlement.\’

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). Commonwealth Contractors also provides updates on UK Immigration News.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners

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Changes To UK Immigration System Set To Be Announced Today

Overall the final Immigration Cap will see 6,300 skilled and highly individuals fall outside of the system compared with 2009. There is likely to be a large degree of alarm among the business community, especially in those industries where there are already dire skill shortages such as Engineering & Healthcare. Top level bankers may be happy (salaries of £150,000+ are exempt from the Immigration Cap) however very few of the middle and back office professionals (especially IT professionals working on cutting edge trading systems) will be on such salaries so problems will undoubtedly arise.

Under the new system 20,700 visas will be available to skilled workers under Tier 2 General, and a further 1,000 visas will be available to those under a new Tier 1 ‘exceptional talent’ scheme (designed for Nobel Prize Scientists etc). The Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) Scheme designed to allow multinational corporations to transfer employees around the globe will fall outside of the Immigration Cap altogether. The system has been frontloaded with 4,200 visas available to meet strong demand in April, followed by a limit of 1,500 places each month thereafter. It is believed that if the monthly allocation is oversubscribed visa applicants will be ranked using a points system designed to favour jobs on the Shortage Occupation List, Scientific Researchers and then those with a higher salary.

Dr Adam Marshall of the British Chamber of Commerce said regarding the proposed changes \”The new rules show that, after a period of great uncertainty, the government is listening harder to business concerns. The changes to the \’tier two\’ arrangements mean that companies will have a better chance of getting much-needed international talent, and growing their business. This in turn will benefit UK plc. However, we will continue to monitor whether the latest immigration rules hamper businesses seeking to recruit the skilled personnel they need. If problems do surface, the government must remain flexible, and make changes once again.\”

Problems Caused by the temporary Immigration Cap

The temporary Immigration Cap has caused many problems for companies in the UK, and not only small employers with unique requirements. Recently Airbus, the leading commercial aircraft manufacturer in the world, reported that it had been unable to bring in two highly specialised engineering experts required for work on a new Airbus wing due to the temporary Immigration Cap. According to a spokesperson for the company Airbus has made repeated requests to the Home Office to bring in the experts for two months however their pleas were ignored by the Home Office and UK Border Agency. According to the company there are only a handful of engineers in the world capable of doing the work however their skills are not on the official Shortage Occupation List therefore any please for further Certificates of Sponsorship fell on deaf ears.

Even leading Conservatives, including the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, have said that the Coalition Governments plan to introduce the immigration cap will harm Britain’s economy and make the country uncompetitive. Mr Johnson said that \”There is a risk that the necessity of putting up a public show of rhetoric will do possible damage to London\’s competitiveness. I think there is a case for flexibility and I think the government understands that.\”

Government proposals including the Immigration Cap also encouraged the outgoing head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Richard Lambert, to launch a scathing attack on the Coalition Government in an article in Spectator Magazine. Mr Lambert said that policies such as the Immigration Cap will “actually made it harder for companies or less likely for companies to employ people. The government is talking about growth in an enthusiastic and thoughtful way, but it has failed so far to articulate in big picture terms its vision of what that means. What I feel is that a number of their initiatives – I’m thinking of the immigration cap, I’m thinking about their move on the default retirement age, about the carbon reduction commitment – have actually made it harder for companies, or less likely for companies to employ people. And what we want, actually, is a sense of direction, a sense of ambition. It’s a common refrain.” Mr Lambert’s voice added to a long list of people voicing serious concerns over the implementation of the policy. So far this year organisations such as the National Health Service have told of the impending skill shortages the Immigration Cap is likely to bring.

Full announcements of the new system are expected to be detailed on the UK Border Agency’s website a little later today with full details being reported tomorrow by Commonwealth Contractors.

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). Commonwealth Contractors also provides updates on UK Immigration News.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you.. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners

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Business Secretary Reassures Indian Businesses Over UK Immigration Policy

At a speech to the Confederation of Indian Industry Mr Cable said that \”I recognise there have been concerns expressed in some quarters in India that changes to British rules on migration might be detrimental to Indian firms, but I would like to state for the record that the Government has exempted Intra-Company Transfers from the annual limit which comes into effect in April 2011. We welcome the role which Indian workers play to the UK economy and, of course, the massive contributions made by the Indian delegation in the UK.\”Reportedly the Coalition Government originally planned to include Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfers within the Immigration Cap (set for full implementation in April 2011) however following lobbying from business groups the scheme was left outside the highly controversial policy.

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).

Commonwealth Contractors also provides updates on UK Immigration News. To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you.. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.

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Changes To The New List Of English Language Test And Providers

The latest list of approved English language test providers for applications made under Tiers 1, 2 and 4 of the points-based system and for spouse or partner applications is available. (more…)

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Tier 2 General (Work Permit) Temporary Immigration Cap Details Released By The UK Border Agency

How will the temporary Immigration Cap work?

Full details of how the Tier 2 temporary Immigration Cap will be operated will be announced by the UK Border Agency in the coming weeks with a new application form and guidance document released on the 19th July 2010. However, we do know that the interim limit will apply only to the number of Certificates of Sponsorship an employer can issue. Applications from migrants will continue to be assessed as normal by UK Diplomatic Posts overseas.

At the time of Tier 2 registration each Tier 2 license holder (UK Business) is given a number of Certificates of Sponsorship which it can use in the year to bring in migrant workers. The number allocated to a company depends upon business requirements. For example Tata Consultancy may be given 1,000 Certificates of Sponsorship to use in a year whereas a smaller business with a lesser requirement may be provided with just 20. Under the new system the UK Border Agency will introduce a limit on the number of Certificates of Sponsorship that each sponsor can assign to migrant workers under Tier 2 (General). Priority will be given to Certificates of Sponsorship required for extension applications & shortage occupations. It is unclear at the present time exactly how this system will operate.

As the Temporary Immigration Cap for Tier 2 General is believed to have been set at 18,700 for the remaining 8 and a half months of the financial year the monthly limits are believed to be:

  • 1,100 Tier 2 General applications in July 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in August 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in September 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in October 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in November 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in December 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in January 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in February 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in March 2010
  • Permanent Immigration Cap set in April 2010

What happens if the Sponsor reaches its limit?

If a Sponsor reaches its Certificate of Sponsorship limit it may request additional Certificates of Sponsorship using the Sponsor Management System, while the limit is in operation. However the UK Border Agency will only approve these requests in exceptional circumstances; the sponsor will need to show that it has used all its Certificates of Sponsorship and has a pressing need to issue further Certificates of Sponsorship.

What happens between now and the 19th July 2010

Between now and the 19th July 2010 Tier 2 General will continue to operate as normal, with sponsors allowed to issue as many Certificates of Sponsorship as they wish (up to their overall limit).

Although the temporary Immigration Cap should not have a massive effect initially (due to only a 5% decrease on last years numbers) the main problem may be delays in processing. Many companies require migrant workers to be in place quickly due to skill shortages and issues with service delivery. Every time the monthly limit is reached the scheme will be suspended and companies will have to wait until the following month.

The UK Border Agency will probably see a large number of companies issue Certificates of Sponsorship prior to the temporary cap.

What subcategories of Tier 2 will the Immigration Cap effect?

The Immigration Cap will only affect Tier 2 General. The Intra Company Transfer, Sportsperson and Minister of Religion subcategories of Tier 2 will not be included in the interim limit.

The Intra Company Transfer route of Tier 2 is responsible for around 45% of total Tier 2 approvals. International Companies such as Tata Consultancy, IBM, Wipro, Mahindra Satyam etc use the scheme to bring in many workers from abroad in order to undertake temporary assignments in the UK. The Government decided to keep the Intra Company Transfer route outside of the limit in order to avoid damaging international business. The Government is also restricted in its ability to limit Intra Company Transfers due to International Agreements including the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

Will I be included in the Cap if I switch into Tier 2?

Applicants who are in the UK in another immigration category and wish to switch into Tier 2 (General) will be included in the limit. For example if a company wishes to hire a prospective employee who is already on a Tier 2 General Visa (UK Work Permit) with another company the worker will be included in the Immigration Cap.

When will the Permanent Immigration Cap be implemented?

The Permanent Immigration Cap will be implemented at the start of April 2011. Full details will be announced by the UK Border Agency later in the year.

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.

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Search For Jobs On Direct.Gov.UK

The Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Darra Singh said that “The Jobcentre Plus database is the largest jobs database in Europe and receives over a million job searches every working day. Directgov, Jobcentre Plus and Businesslink have been working together to make sure that people looking for a job can find what they need via Directgov, which is fast and easy to navigate.” Direct.Gov.UK will now be available to a wider audience via Mobile Phones, Teletext, Digital TV, Virgin and Sky TV.

Tier 2 Sponsors

If you are a Tier 2 (Work Permit) sponsor you will now need to advertise job vacancies on the Direct.Gov.UK website rather than the old JobCentrePlus website. To do this you should go to the Employer Direct online service via businesslink.gov.uk. For more information on advertising jobs further to Tier 2 (Work Permit) criteria please call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388.

MyGov Profiles

Over the coming years the Government plans to consolidate all of its existing websites into a single MyGov domain with a MyGov dashboard for each citizen. The point of the centralisation is to allow users quick and easy access to government services. At present users have multiple accounts with multiple Government websites.

In a recent speech Gordon Brown said that “the MyGov dashboard will make citizen interaction with government as easy as internet banking or online shopping”. MyGov, which will eventually replace DirectGov will “end the current frustration of web users needing to identify themselves separately for different public services”. He went on to say that “the dashboard will allow citizens to manage their pensions, tax credits and child benefits, as well as pay council tax, fix doctors or hospital appointments, apply for schools of their choice and communicate with children\’s teachers”. The Prime Minister also promised that all public service contracts worth more than £20,000 would be provided on a free online database.

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing Tier 1 Visa Applications / Extensions and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a Medical, Information Technology or Engineering Professional on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you.. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.

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Changes To Tier 2 General In April 2010

Headline changes to Tier 2 General and Intra Company Transfer

  • 5 additional points will be awarded for Tier 2 General applications versus Tier 2 Intra Company Transfers due to the fact that Tier 2 General applications are designed specifically to protect skilled jobs and to ensure that offers are made to resident nationals before those from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • 50 Points will be awarded for all extension applications, thereby simplifying the process of applying for an extension
  • The Prospective Earnings Band has been increased (in order to score 20 points an applicant must receive prospective earnings of at least £28,000. Previously an applicant only required £24,000 or more)
  • The allowance proposals recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee have not been taken up by the UK Border Agency

Tier 2 General Points Required

In order to qualify for a Tier 2 General Visa or Intra Company Transfer visa (formerly UK Work Permit) an individual must score at least 50 points for Attributes (Sponsorship, Highest Qualification, Prospective Earnings) and validate the English Language and Maintenance Requirements.

Sponsorship (Maximum 50 Points)

Jobs considered to be officially in shortage by the UK Border Agency are awarded full points. For more information please see the UK Border Agency’s Shortage Occupation List.

  • Job offer in a Shortage Occupation – 50 Points Awarded
  • Job offer which passes the Resident Labour Market Test – 30 Points Awarded
  • Switching from a Post Study Work Category – 30 Points Awarded
  • Intra Company Transfer – 25 Points Awarded

Highest Qualification or Equivalent (Maximum 15 Points)

  • No Qualifications – 0 Points Awarded
  • GCE A-Level – 5 Points Awarded
  • Bachelors Degree – 10 Points Awarded
  • Masters Degree or PHD – 15 Points Awarded

Prospective Earnings (Maximum 25 Points)

The points bands for prospective earnings have been increased so that no points are awarded for earnings below £20,000 (formerly applicants were awarded 5 points for earnings below £20,000). Previously applicants were awarded full points (20 points) for earnings above £24,000. Now in order to secure maximum points applicants must have prospective earnings of at least £32,000.

  • Below £20,000 – 0 Points Awarded
  • £20,000 – £23,999 – 10 Points Awarded
  • £24,000 – £27,999 – 15 Points Awarded
  • £28,000 – £31,999 – 20 Points Awarded
  • £32,000 or above – 25 Points Awarded

Extension Applications

50 Points will be awarded for all Tier 2 extension applications so long as the sponsored worker has a valid Certificate of Sponsorship, is working in the same role as before and is paid at the same rate or higher. The change will simplify the system as applicants will no longer require to show a qualification, such as a Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree or PHD.

Allowances

Multinational Companies that sponsor Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer workers often pay seconded employees in the form of allowances. The UK Border Agency allows this so long as the total salary package is at least equal to the appropriate rate that a resident worker would be paid.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) proposed that allowances be scaled down when calculating points for prospective earnings in order to prevent the tax system being used to subsidise migrant labour and undercut pay for resident workers. The recommendation would mean that only a proportion of allowance (e.g. 75%) would be awarded.

The UK Border Agency will not make any changes to the rules surrounding allowances. In response to the changes the UKBA has said that scaling down allowances could place a heavy burden on businesses that use allowances for legitimate contractual reasons and not to undercut.

Recognising Professional Qualifications

For some time there have been calls for the UK Border Agency to recognise a greater number of professional qualifications, especially those in Accountancy and Law. In the recent announcement the UK Border Agency has said that it already awards Tier 2 General Points for Professional Qualifications and that many Professional Qualifications already exist on the Points Based Calculator. All qualifications on the Points Based Calculator have been recommended to the UKBA by the National Academic Recognition Information Centre for the UK (UK NARIC).

The UKBA suggests that if an individual disagrees with the Points Based Calculator that should contact their awarding body and ask them to contact UK NARIC in order to assess whether the qualification is suitable.

Tier 2 General and Intra Company Transfer Applications

If you are a skilled worker interested in working in the UK or a UK based company that wishes to fill a skilled job with an individual from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help. Commonwealth Contractors OISC registered Immigration Partners can help to ensure that a UK based companies secure Tier 2 Licenses and sponsor workers further to the applicable immigration rules. If you are a highly skilled IT Consultant, Doctor or Engineer our Tier 2 licensed consultancy partners may be prepared, where required, to sponsor you under Tier 2 General.

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you.. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.

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