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 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