Changes to Tiers 1 & 2 beyond April 2010

Tier 1 General – Adjusting Overseas Earnings

One of the key subcategories of Tier 1 General is Previous Earnings in which applicants earn points based on a 12 month consecutive period of earnings in the 15 months immediately prior to Tier 1 General visa application. The higher the level of previous earnings the more points are awarded to the applicant.

When assessing Previous Earnings the UK Border Agency considers where in the world the individual has earned the income. The UKBA understands that there are differing level of earnings around the world and differing currencies which is why ‘multipliers’ are used to convert foreign earnings into the equivalent UK earning. Once currency conversions and multipliers have been used the sum can be assessed against the Tier 1 General Previous Earnings bands and attributed visa application points.

In the second half of 2010 the UKBA has said that it will revaluate these ‘multipliers’ in order to accurately reflect earnings generated in countries outside the United Kingdom. Once details of the new multipliers have been released Commonwealth Contractors will provide full details.

Tier 1 Investors, Entrepreneurs and Post Study Workers

The UK Border Agency is currently undertaking analysis into the Investor, Entrepreneur and Post Study Worker subcategories of Tier 1 following recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). Once analysis has been completed the UK Border Agency may look to make changes to the current systems.

Earlier this year the Migration Advisory Committee recommended that:

  • The Tier 1 Post Study Worker Subcategory be assessed in order to evaluate whether all graduates with a qualifying degree be allowed access to the scheme or simply those in certain sectors (e.g. Engineering, Medical etc). The MAC queried the economic returns of allowing all graduating students with a qualifying degree to gain access to the scheme and as to whether the Post Study Work subcategory of Tier 1 really played a role in attracting graduates to UK based Academic Institutions
  • The UK Border Agency dedicate sufficient resources to enforcement of the Entrepreneur subcategory of Tier 1 in order to evaluate whether jobs created through the route really represented a genuine net increase in jobs

Later in 2010 there is a good chance that the Post Study Work subcategory of Tier 1 will be changed so that only those graduates in certain courses will be granted a Post Study Worker visa (e.g. Engineers, Medical Graduates etc). If you have recently Graduated or are about to Graduate in the near future Commonwealth Contractors recommends applying for a Post Study Work Visa asap in order to avoid any future changes in policy.

Tier 2 – Highly Trusted Sponsors

In Autumn 2010 the UK Border Agency expects to introduce the a new ‘Highly Trusted Sponsors’ scheme that will grant those A-Rated sponsors who are considered ‘Highly Trusted’ an even more streamlined approach to bringing in workers from abroad. The UK Border Agency is currently working on the criteria for such as scheme and will release details in the near future. Highly trusted sponsors are likely to be given faster processing times, a simpler process to change licenses, simplified application processes and tracked processing times.

At present the UK Border Agency considers Tier 2 Sponsors to be either ‘A Rated’ sponsors or ‘B Rated’ Sponsors. ‘A Rated’ Sponsors are given more freedom when making a Tier 2 Visa application, especially in relating to the Tier 2 Maintenance Requirement. A Rated Sponsors can validate the maintenance requirement for a sponsored worker whereas B Rated Sponsors cannot, meaning the economic migrant must show at least £800 in a maintenance funds for the 90 days immediately prior to application.

Tier 2 – Resident Labour Market Test

The Migration Advisory Committee recommended that the UK Border Agency look at a certification regime for at least those sponsors considered to be high risk, probably those Tier 2 sponsors holding a ‘B Rated’ license.

The UK Border Agency is considering options along with the Highly Trusted Sponsor scheme.

Tier 2 – Intra Company Transfers

The Migration Advisory Committed has questioned the resources currently being devoted to the enforcement of the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Scheme and whether there is a sufficient level of transparency. The suggestions undoubtedly come following the Professional Contractors Group (PCG) attack on the Intra Company Transfer Scheme.

Any changes to the Intra Company Transfer Scheme are expected to be minor as the Government understands the economic benefits big business bring to the UK. In order to remain an economic hub the UK must continue to attract Multinational Companies.

UK Border Agency & HM Revenue and Customs Partnership

The MAC has recommended that the UK Border Agency and HM Revenue and Customs work closer together in order to investigate potential abuses of the tax system by economic migrants.

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 0330 390 9021 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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