Category Archives: Tier 2 (Work Permit) News

Quarterly Update To Codes Of Practice

Download the Latest Codes of Practise

For the latest Codes of Practice please visit the UK Border Agency Website

What are the Codes of Practice?

Before a Tier 2 Licensed company can ‘sponsor’ a worker from outside the EEA it must ensure that the job it wishes to sponsor the migrant worker for is in line with the relevant Codes of Practice and meets all relevant conditions. If the job does not meet the conditions the company will be unable to sponsor the worker.

Each Section of the Codes of Practice contains Standard Occupation Classification Codes or SOC codes as they are commonly known. An employer must find the most relevant SOC code for the role they wish to employ the migrant worker under and follow all employment conditions.

Each SOC code detailed in the Codes of Practice contains a SOC Code Description, Related Job Titles and Examples of Job Tasks. Once you have found the correct SOC code you must drill down to the relevant Job Title to find the required annual salary for the role and suitable advertising locations.

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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Government Response To Intra Company Transfer Petition

The following details the groups ICT Petition and the Governments official response.

ICT Petition

We petition the Prime Minister to abolish the \’Intra Company Transfer\’ work permits scheme immediately

This scheme allows companies to bypass UK immigration rules and import non-EU workers into the UK, displacing UK/EU staff. This scheme bypasses other schemes such as the skilled migrants points system, which work fairly based on national need and individual migrants skills. This is allowing the displacement of tens of thousands of workers, particularly in IT. It is unfair on UK (and EU) workers as these shipped in workers enjoy tax (and often accommodation) benefits not available to workers living in the UK due to the local cost of living and tax regime. This is raising UK unemployment by the tens of thousands and undermining the UKs future competitiveness in Information Technology as skills are built up here and then return abroad. This scheme is fundamentally unfair. No one can object to the work being out-sourced to be carried about abroad, but this mass importing of non-EU labour to have the work done here, is unfair.

Government Response to ICT Petition

Thank you for your e petition about the Intra Company Transfer scheme and non-EEA workers in the IT industry.

In November 2008, the work permit arrangements were replaced by Tier 2 of the Points-Based System. Tier 2 ensures that those who benefit most directly from migration, such as employers, play their part in ensuring the system is not abused. To employ an overseas worker an employer must be licensed by the UK Border Agency to act as a sponsor. Tier 2, like the work permit arrangements it replaces, is demand-led and not based on numerical targets or quotas. Overseas workers are granted permission to fill a specific skilled vacancy for a specific period of time.

Unless certain exemptions apply, employers must advertise their vacancies to UK workers, and demonstrate that they cannot fill the post with a suitably qualified or skilled settled worker, before they can sponsor a migrant under Tier 2. One exception is if the job is a recognised shortage occupation. The independent Migration Advisory Committee recently recommended that certain posts within visual effects and 2D/3D computer animation for film, television or video games should be added to the shortage occupation list. There are no other IT occupations on the list. Another exception is the intra-company transfer (ICT) route, which is designed to enable employees of multinational companies to transfer to skilled posts in this country and to enhance the UK’s competitiveness in attracting inward investment by overseas companies.

Currently, an ICT post requires that the migrant has had a minimum of six months previous experience working for the sponsor and will fill a genuine vacancy in the UK for an established employee that cannot be filled with a suitably qualified or skilled settled worker.

However, on 7 September 2009, following advice from the Migration Advisory Committee, the Home Secretary announced a number of changes to the ICT rules in Tier 2 of the Points Based System. From the spring of 2010 companies will only be able to transfer staff through the ICT route where they employed the individual for at least 12 months, doubling the existing 6 month threshold and the route will no longer lead to permanent residence in the UK. An additional route will be created to allow graduates on global graduate programmes to transfer to the UK for a period of no more than 12 months where they have three months experience of working for the company.

The off-shoring of IT work is not an immigration issue. The immigration arrangements do not prevent employers from outsourcing work to another company or bringing migrant workers into the UK for either short or lengthy periods of time, provided the relevant criteria are met. These are business decisions for employers to determine. Fair access to migrant labour can help to encourage large multinational firms to invest in the UK. In such cases, access to migrant labour encourages growth in the industry to accommodate both UK and migrant workers. UK workers also benefit from working with the most highly skilled workers from around the world and sharing expertise.

We do not allow migrant workers to be used as a source of cheap labour and undercut UK workers. Employers must pay salaries at that are least equal to those paid to resident workers with similar skills, as specified in the UK Border Agency’s guidance for sponsors. Sponsors must confirm the salaries and allowances of all migrants that they sponsor. This is checked when the migrant makes a Tier 2 application and verified through later compliance checks. If the company does not pay the stated salary, they risk losing their sponsor licence.

Migrant workers benefit from international tax agreements in the same way that UK workers benefit when employed overseas. Further information is available on the Directgov website.

We support employers who ensure their workers are accommodated whilst in the UK, but we have set an upper limit of 30 per cent of the gross salary package for this type of allowance. This limits the amount of tax relief they are entitled to, as well as ensuring that the workers are paid an appropriate rate for the skilled job they are employed to do in the UK.\”

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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English Language Test Provider Removed

Applications made after the 11th February 2010

The Test detailed above will not be accepted by the UK Border Agency at all past the 11th February 2010. Individuals who have taken the test should arrange to sit an alternative test before submitting an application otherwise they will find their application is rejected on the basis that 10 points cannot be awarded under the English Language Requirement. Government submission fees will not be reimbursed where an inadequate test has been provided.

Applications made before the 11th February 2010

Those that took the ‘Test in English for International Students’ and submitted a pass certificate with a Tier 1 or 2 application before the 11th February 2010 will receive a letter from the UKBA detailing what they need to do to gain an approval, so long as there are no other reasons to reject the application (e.g. Inadequate Previous Earnings under Tier 1 General).

Applicants will be given 10 weeks from the date of the UK Border Agency Letter to take a new satisfactory test and provide a copy of the original Test Certificate to the UKBA. For those that do not pass the new test on the first attempt the UKBA will not hold the application open so that another test can be taken.

Applicants are advised to take an IELTS Test.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 English Language Tests

In order to gain approval under Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the Points Based System an individual must prove that he or she can speak English to a satisfactory level; otherwise the application will be rejected. Their are three ways of proving English Language ability:

  1. The Individual comes from an English Speaking Country as defined by the UKBA (e.g. Australia, New Zealand, USA)
  2. The Individual holds a degree that was entirely taught in English and can be verified by UK NARIC
  3. The Individual holds an English Language Test which has been approved as meeting English Language Requirements by the UKBA

The pass mark for English Language is set at a higher level for Tier 1 (highly skilled) applications than Tier 2 (skilled) visa applications. At present a Tier 1 General Visa applicant must pass an English Language Test equivalent to C1 of the Council of Europe’s Common Framework for Language Learning (equivalent to a grade C or better at GCSE or an approximate overall band score of 6.5 on an IELTS exam).

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).

For more information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you.

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Tier 2 Codes Of Practice To Be Updated

What are the Codes of Practice?

Before a Tier 2 Licensed company can ‘sponsor’ a worker from outside the EEA it must ensure that the job it wishes to sponsor the migrant worker for is in line with the relevant Codes of Practice and meets all relevant conditions. If the job does not meet the conditions the company will be unable to sponsor the worker.

There are 19 sections to the Codes of Practice:

  • Section A: Agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Section B: Mining and quarrying
  • Section C: Manufacturing
  • Section D: Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
  • Section E: Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
  • Section F: Construction
  • Section G: Wholesale and retain trade, repair of motor vehicles and motor cycles
  • Section H: Transportation and storage
  • Section I: Accommodation and food services activities
  • Section J: Information and communication
  • Section K: Financial and insurance activities
  • Section L: Real estate activities
  • Section M: Professional, scientific and technical activities
  • Section N: Administrative and support service activities
  • Section O: Public administration and defence, compulsory social security
  • Section P: Education
  • Section Q: Human health and social work activities
  • Section R: Arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Section S: Other service activities

Each Section of the Codes of Practice contains Standard Occupation Classification Codes or SOC codes as they are commonly known. An employer must find the most relevant SOC code for the role they wish to employ the migrant worker under and follow all employment conditions.

Each SOC code detailed in the Codes of Practice contains a SOC Code Description, Related Job Titles and Examples of Job Tasks. Once you have found the correct SOC code you must drill down to the relevant Job Title to find the required annual salary for the role and suitable advertising locations.

The changes due to take place on the 1st March 2010 will undoubtedly alter the advertising locations and annual salaries for certain roles. If an employer follows the old rules past the 1st March they will be issuing an unsatisfactory Certificate of Sponsorship. An organisation that uses out of date Codes when employing migrant workers may find their license downgraded or removed at a UKBA audit or a financial penalty given.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).

For more information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you.

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Tier 2 Identity Cards

Existing Immigration Categories requiring an Identity Card:

  • Spouses, Civil Partners, Unmarried or same-sex partners
  • Students under Points Based System Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child)
  • Postgraduate Doctors & Dentists
  • Academic Visitors granted leave for a period exceeding six months
  • Visitors for private medical treatment
  • Domestic workers in a private household
  • United Kingdom Ancestry
  • Retired persons of independent means
  • Sole Representatives
  • Transfer of conditions
  • Dependents

Immigration Categories requiring an Identity Card from the 6th January 2010

  • Skilled Workers (General and Intra Company Transfers under Tier 2 of the Points Based System)
  • Ministers of Religion
  • Sports Persons
  • Representatives of Overseas Businesses
  • Dependents

In order for an individual to gain an Identity Card on extension of the visa he / she must first provide biometric information (fingerprints and digital face photograph) to the UK Border Agency and apply to extend permission to remain in the UK. If successful the applicant will receive an Identity Card. Identity Cards are intended to provide a simple way for migrants to prove their nationality, identity & immigration status in the UK. At present it can be very confusing for UK Employers to understand who has valid Leave to Remain in a certain immigration category and whether they are allowed to employ the migrant. In the past for example, Student Visa holders have entered the UK on a 3-4 year course and then taken full time employment with a UK Employer who simply sees valid leave to remain in the workers passport for 3-4 years but not the corresponding visa status. By the end of 2010 the UK Border Agency expects to roll out the Identity Card Scheme to highly skilled workers under Tier 1 and temporary workers under Tier 5 of the Points Based Immigration System.  Under current plans everyone who successfully extends their status in the UK or who comes to the UK for more than six months will need to have an Identity Card by April 2011. By 2015 the UKBA expects 90% of workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to have an Identity Card. If you are in the UK on a Work Permit and you are looking for a new challenge Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help. We work with Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a worker under Tier 2 General (formerly the UK Work Permit scheme). If you are a skilled professional and you are interested in Consulting in the UK call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you.

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Identity Cards for Tier 2 Visa Holders

 

Home Office Centres: To book by phone call: 0870 606 7766 (for Premium Applications), 0300 123 8895 (for Postal Applications where the individual needs to provide Biometrics)

 

  • London Biometric Enrolment Centre:
    • Identity & Passport Service, Hannibal House, Elephant & Castle, London, SE1 6TE
  • Croydon Public Enquiry Office:
    • Lunar House, 40 Wellesley Road, Croydon, CR9 2BY
    • Phone: 0870 606 7766
  • Solihull Public Enquiry Office:
    • Dominion Court, 41 Station Road, Solihull. Birmingham, B91 3RT
    • Phone: 0870 606 7766
  • Birmingham Biometric Enrolment Centre
    • Identity and Passport Service, 6th Floor, Kensington House, Suffolk Street, Queensway, Birmingham, B1 1LN
  • Sheffield Public Enquiry Office:
    • Vulcan House, Riverside entrance, 6 Millsands, Sheffield S3 8NU
    • 0870 606 7766
  • Derby Biometric Enrolment Centre:
    • 2nd Floor, Stuart House, Green Lane, DE1 1RS
  • Liverpool Public Enquiry Office:
    • Reliance House, 20 Water Street, Liverpool L2 8XU
    • Phone: 0870 606 7766
  • Brighton Biometric Enrolment Centre:
    • First Floor (North Suite), 42 Frederick Place, Brighton, BN1 4EA
  • Glasgow Public Enquiry Office:
    • Festival Court, 200 Brand Street, Govan, Glasgow G51 1DH
    • Phone: 0870 606 7766
  • Belfast Public Enquiry Office:
    • UK Border Agency Public Office, 1 Drumkeen Complex, Upper Galwally, Belfast BT8 6TB
    • 0870 606 7766
  • Cardiff Public Enquiry Office:
    • General buildings, Ground floor, 31-33 Newport Road, Cardiff, Wales CF24 0AB
    • Phone: 0870 606 7766

 

Post Office Biometric Enrolment Centres:

  • Beckenham: 22 Rectory Road Beckenham Kent BR3 1AA
  • Beeston: 6a Chilwell Rd Beeston Nottingham Nottinghamshire NG9 1AA
  • Bracknell: High Street Bracknell Berkshire RG12 1AA
  • Cambridge: 9-11 St Andrew Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 3AA
  • Durham: 33 Silver Street Durham County Durham DH1 3RE
  • London Earl’s Court: 185 Earl\’s Court Road London Greater London SW5 9RB
  • Kingstanding: 25 Kingstanding Centre Birmingham West Midlands B44 9HH
  • Middleton: 53 Manchester New Road Middleton Manchester Lancashire M24 1SQ
  • London Old Street: 205 Old Street London Greater London EC1V 9QN
  • Oxford: 102-104 St Aldates Oxford Oxfordshire OX1 1ZZ
  • Romsey: 15-25 Church Street Romsey Hampshire SO51 8WA
  • South Shields: Kepple Street South Shields Tyne and Wear NE33 1AA
  • Union Street: 489 Union Street Aberdeen City of Aberdeen AB11 6AZ
  • Camden High Street: 112-114 Camden High St Camden Town London Greater London NW1 0RR

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