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.


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 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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