Category Archives: Tier 2 (Work Permit) News

UK Eases Visa Rules – 1st October 2013

Last Friday, Mark Harper, the immigration minister, announced changes which generally ease visa rules from 1st October 2013. Some of the key changes are:

  • Removal of the English language requirement for intra-company transferees.
  • Tourists and business visitors are allowed to do some study where it is not the main purpose of their visit.
  • Share ownership restrictions waived for senior staff earning £152,100 or more.
  • Artists of exceptional promise enabled to apply under Tier 1.
  • Graduate entrepreneurs will find it easier to switch into Tier 2.
  • New youth mobility scheme quotas set for 2014
  • Hong Kong will be added to the list of participating countries and territories on the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme in order to further strenghten business, trade and cultural ties.
  • Some students will be allowed to work as interns under the Tier 5 government authorised exchange scheme.
  • The removal of the prospective student route.
  • The expansion of checks to ensure applicants for work and student visas are genuine, and that they intend to meet the conditions of leave they apply for.
  • The introducion of  powers to refuse Tier 4 extension applications where the applicant cannot speak English.
  • Dependants in the Points Based System and other work routes will be allowed to apply from within the UK, providing they are not here illegally, as visitors, or on temporary admission or temporary release. They will still need to satisfy all other existing requirements.
  • Special rules for overseas visitors to the Commonwealth Games 2014 were included.
  • With effect from the 28th October 2013 there will be changes to how applicants for indefinite leave to remain are required to demonstrate their knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK.

If you need a visa to work in IT, Engineering, Actuary or Finance Commonwealth Contractors may well be able to help.

To find out more about our solutions call now on 0330 390 9021 or Send us some details now and we will get right back to you!


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Croatia a Member of the EU from 1st July 2013

The Republic of Croatia became a member of the EU on the 1st July. This means that Croation nationals can now move and live freely in any member state of the EU. Member states may restrict access to the labour market for a transitional period and the UK is taking up the option to do so.

Before a Croation national can start work they may need to apply for worker authorisation also known as purple registration certificate or the purple card. Those qualifying for the purple card will generally be skilled workers who meet the criteria for the issue of a certificate of sponsorship under Tier 2 and Tier 5 of the points based system unless they are going to be employed as a postgraduate doctor/dentist, sole representative of an overseas business, or a domestic servant in a private household.

The complete Sponsor guidance is available here.

Highly Skilled Persons
A Croatian national may apply for a registration certificate confirming the holder
has free access to the labour market (a “blue registration certificate”) on the basis
that they are a highly skilled person. In order to be regarded as highly skilled, the Croatian national will have to either:

  • meet the relevant requirements of the exceptional talent category under
  • Tier 1 of the points-based system by obtaining an endorsement (e.g. a
    letter of recommendation) from a designated competent body. These
    bodies will either be The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of
    Engineering, The British Academy or the Arts Council; or

  •  in the period of 12 months preceding the date of their application for a
  • blue registration certificate, been awarded one of the following from a UK
    higher education institution:

  1. A recognised bachelor, masters or doctoral degree, or
  2.  A Higher National Diploma (HND) by a Scottish higher education

Do you need a visa to work in IT, Engineering, Actuary or Finance?

To find out more about our solutions call now on 0330 390 9021 or Send us some details now and we will get right back to you!

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Got non-EEA Dependents? Money & Not Love Will Conquer All

On 11 June 2012 the Government announced changes to the Immigration Rules for non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) nationals applying to enter or remain in the UK on the family migration route. The changes came into effect for new applicants from the 9th July 2012 and were a response to the pressure on the government to reduce the number of immigrants. The expectation of the Home Office was that the changes would significantly reduce the number of family visas. The full details of the changes are available on UKBA’s website.

An All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Family Migration enquiry was launched on 20 November 2012 to explore the impact of the new rules and their report was released yesterday. The main focus of the enquiry was on the following point:

The new minimum income requirement of £18,600 for British nationals and permanent residents (‘UK sponsors’) seeking to sponsor a non-EEA spouse or partner, rising to £22,400 to sponsor a child in addition and a further £2,400 for each further child included in the application; and the new rules on sponsorship of non-EEA adult dependents applying to come to the UK.

Over 280 submissions were received by the inquiry committee, including over 175 submissions from families who had been adversly affected by the rules. Charities, lawyers, local authorities, businesses and MPs submitted written evidence.
The key official findings are:

  1. Some British citizens and permanent residents in the UK, including people in full-time employment, have been separated from a non-EEA partner and in some cases their children as a result of the income requirement.
  2. Some British citizens and permanent residents have been prevented from returning to
    the UK with their non-EEA partner and any children as a result of the income requirement.
  3. Some children, including British children, have been indefinitely separated from a non-EEA parent as a result of the income requirement.
  4. The current permitted sources in order to meet the income requirement may not fully
    reflect the resources available to some families.
  5. The adult dependent relative visa category appears in effect to have been closed.

In general it is the rigid enforcement of the rules that is the problem. The proposed migrant’s salary cannot be taken into account when calculating the £18,600 even if they have a high salary. In practical terms it means that people with a right to live here cannot bring their high earning partner to live with them if they themselves are not working. They may be looking after their children and have no plans to work or to become a drain on the public purse. If their children were born in a non-EEA country and require a visa the bar to entry is set even higher. The UK misses out on the skills of the ‘dependent’ migrant and the income tax revenue from their high salary. Some people have had to claim benefits when that was never their plan and their children are then growing up in a low income one parent family. In parts of the UK average income levels are well below £18,600 and so that level of income is then not achievable.

The APPG Migration Group had this to say

We urge Government to consider the emerging evidence about what must be the unintended consequences of these rules, and hope they will agree the need fully to review whether, one year on from their introduction, these rules have struck the right balance between different interests.

Increasingly young people are working abroad as part of their career development and when starting a personal relationship are probably not thinking about the complexities of immigrations systems. It would be odd if they were. In the first flush of romance they are more likely to believe that love conquers all.

Do you need a visa to work in IT, Engineering or Finance?

To find out more about our solutions call now on 0330 390 9021 or Send us some details now and we will get right back to you!

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Changes to Rules for Some Tier 2 Intra-Company Transferees (ICT)

Mark Harper, the Immigration Minister, has announced that executives known as Tier 2 Intra-Company Transferees (ICT), who are paid more than £152,100 pa, will be exempt from the rule that forces non-Europeans to spend a year outside the UK if they wish to switch between temporary and permanent visas.

In practical terms this rule meant that staff who transferred to the UK headquarters of multi-national companies could not be taken on as permanent employees in Britain at the end of their temporary contract. These executives will be exempt from taking an English test if they want to extend their leave in the UK and the amount of documents they must provide in order to show they have worked for their company for over a year are also being reduced.

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills had lobbied the Home Office on this issue after receiving complaints from the business community. It was seen as a bar on highly skilled migrants who have valuable global and UK business experience which we need in order to encourage growth and international trade links.

If you are working in the UK on a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa and you would like to ‘switch’ to Tier 2 General Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help. We partner with Tier 2 Licensed employers and consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual under Tier 2 General.

To find out more call now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!


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New Permanent Residence Requirements for UK Tier 2 Visa Applicants

The UK Boarder Agency (UKBA) announced additional documentation requirements for Tier 2 visa applicants applying for indefinite leave to remain. Tier 2 applicants will now be required to furnish proof from their employers and sponsors that they are paid at a high salary under Tier 2 visa. (more…)

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New Payment Method For Premium Appointments in Glasgow and Cardiff

From July 25th the UK Boarder Agency (UKBA) are changing payment arrangements for customers using their premium same-day at Glasgow and Cardiff public enquiry offices. No longer will there be cashiers to receive in those locations. If you are attending an appointment in Glasgow or Cardiff, there will be 3 ways that you can pay your application fee: payment in person by credit or debit card, postal payment in advance and for some applications online payment is available. (more…)

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361 “Restricted” CoS Applications Rejected in April

According to new figures provided by the UK Border Agency 361 applications for Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship were rejected in April 2011 due to the fact that they did not meet eligibility criteria based on skills and salary. In order for a Certificate of Sponsorship to be approved by the UK Border Agency the job must meet the minimum requirements for the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code. If the job does not meet the minimum requirements for skills and salary the UK Border Agency cannot approve the Certificate of Sponsorship. (more…)

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6,600 CoSs Unused Under Interim Cap

According to reports over the weekend a third of the interim limit went unused meaning that UK companies hired 6,600 fewer migrant workers than they could have. Under the Interim Limit Tier 2 licensed sponsors were given an allocation of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) to use prior to the implementation of the permanent Immigration Cap. The amount of CoSs allocated by the UK Border Agency was dependent upon historical usage, with new sponsors given a zero allocation. (more…)

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8 Occupations To Be Removed From Shortage Occupation List

The Government has announced that it has accepted all of the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) recommendations following the publication of two reports looking at Graduate Level Jobs and the Shortage Occupation List for Tier 2 General. The recommendations include the removal of 8 skilled occupations from the Shortage Occupation List and the removal of 71 professions from the list of 192 approved jobs under Tier 2 of the points based system. Once the 8 occupations have been removed from Tier 2 the number of jobs available to migrants will be reduced from 500,000 to around 230,000. (more…)

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CIPD & TUC Speak Out About IDS’s Remarks

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Trade Union Congress have both spoken out following Ian Duncan Smith’s recent comments at the Conservative Party Conference where he said that there was not a lack of jobs, but a failure to match people to jobs properly, and this failure had fuelled Immigration to the United Kingdom. The CIPD responded to the claims by saying that the main issues were due to skills, job location and travelling issues. (more…)

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