Tier 2 Rule Changes 2018 – Switching
The Tier 2 (General) is a category for migrant workers who hold an offer of a skilled job from a Tier 2 licensed employer. Up until now, students on a Tier 4 visa, a sizeable source of potential employment possibilities for UK businesses, would have had to wait until they have received their final results before attempting to switch to Tier 2. Some grace has now been granted by the Home Office insofar as students may now apply to switch from their studies as soon as they have completed their courses; this is more in line with those undertaking PhDs.
A provision that is currently in place within the Sponsor Guidance is being incorporated within the rules – this will restrict how far a migrant’s start date may be put back before it becomes a prohibited change. The restriction applies only to Tier 2 (General) Migrants, and only to any changes to a start date which occur after leave has been granted thus changing the circumstances upon which the leave was granted initially.
Changes to Indefinite Leave to Remain for the working categories.
The requirement to have had absences from the UK of no more than 180 days per year in order to qualify for settlement, which currently applies to main applicants, is being extended to partners of Points-Based System Migrants. To ensure that this requirement does not have any retrospective effect, only absences from the UK during periods of leave granted under the rules in place from 11 January 2018, will count towards the 180 days for dependants.
From 11 January 2018, the rules refer to absences in any 12-month period within the qualifying five year period, whereas previously they referred to absences in separate consecutive 12-month periods (only whole days are to be counted as absences).
The existing provision whereby those who assisted with the West African Ebola crisis would not have any related absences count towards their 180-day total is being widened to include persons assisting with any national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis.
Furthermore, Tier 2 Migrants are no longer required to have been continuously employed throughout their leave. Previously applicants who had a gap in employment of more than 60 days were precluded from applying for ILR. This old rule has now been deemed to be superfluous to requirements as any migrant who is no longer working for their Sponsor is already subject to the possibility of curtailment of their leave.
Written By- Peter Shannon, Private Immigration Adviser
Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship allocations in February
Tier 2 Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship allocations for this month are significantly less than the last quarter due to the annual allocation for restricted CoSs coming to an end in March 2018, which may mean applications for RCoSs in March stand further scrutiny by the Tier 2 Limits Team. If you are applying for a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship be aware that your application will have to score highly to succeed, or it may result in it being rolled over to the following month or ultimately refused.
For more information about Certificate of Sponsorship allocations please click below:
Chronic Skills Shortage within the tech sector
Within the ‘tech’ sector in the UK there continues to be what could be termed as a ‘chronic skills shortage’ of supply from the local labour market. This may come initially as a surprise to many, given that this sector has contributed more than £90 billion to the UK economy coffers and boasts an average salary that many can only dream of. Conversely digital skills shortage has been attributed to the existence of one in five job vacancies in the UK and places a stranglehold on many companies who are unable to realise their competitive potential subsequently becoming less attractive as a possible destination for those abroad searching for ambitious, innovative and dynamic destinations in which to invest.
A conclusion that may be drawn from this is that there exists a clear mismatch in the types of skills offered by the domestic labour market and those demanded by a large proportion of UK employers. From both a home-grown and long-term perspective this is an issue that needs to be tackled in tandem by both the government and employers by way of equipping and attracting more young people, especially female, through inspirational and motivational means, towards the advantages of a career within digital technology.
However, in the short-term it appears that the UK tech economy cannot survive on home-grown talent alone. There is therefore the need to be mindful of keeping the UK as a welcoming and desirable destination, to rival other internationally significant tech centres, so that opportunities still exist for those talented individuals who may in the future be drawn towards tech employment. This has led to the existence of ongoing government reforms to attract those from outside the EU in the face of the UK’s leaving. Amber Rudd stated in November of last year that the thriving digital technology sector is at the centre of industrial strategy and as a reflection of “the importance of these innovative industries to the UK”, has increased the number of visas available through the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route, doubling from 1,000 to 2,000 a year.
The Visa Office has more than 20 years’ experience providing guidance and representation for both corporate and private clients and always aims to provide a personal service which is tailored towards the individual needs of the client. For Tier 1 & Tier 2 clients this incorporates:
- An initial visa route appraisal – sometimes sponsorship isn’t best option.
- Provision of full representation for those who are making applications outside or inside the UK.
- Help in conducting a fully compliant Resident Labour Market Test.
- Requesting a Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship and full support in the generation of all appropriate supporting documents.
- Once allocated the assigning of Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship.
- Full representation, document support, and representation for those applying for sponsorship licences.
- A first 12 month Immigration Advisory Service (IAS): conducting of compliance audits in order to prepare sponsors for H.O. Compliance inspections; to ensure Compliance with the Home Office efficient use of compulsory Home Office Sponsor Management System.
- Auditing of and renewing of sponsorship licences alongside full HR training and on-going support with regard to Right to Work processes and procedures.
Written By Peter Shannon, Private Immigration Adviser
Brexit – Application process for EEA Nationals
Application process for EEA Nationals
The UKVI have released a technical paper confirming that they intend to streamline the application system in order to wade through the 3 million possible applications from EEA Nationals living in the United Kingdom.
Continue reading Brexit – Application process for EEA Nationals
Merry Christmas to you all from everyone at The Visa Office!
Our offices will be closed from noon on 22/12/2016 and we will be re-opening on 3rd January 2017. If you have a query over the festive break, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise have a super Christmas!
Tier 2 Changes – Update
Update – Earlier this year the Home office announced reforms to the Tier 2 route for skilled workers following recommendation by the Migration Advisory Committee’s report October 2015. The changes came about on 24th November 2016. Further changes affecting the Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) Skills Transfer route will be announced in in due course.
The following changes took place on 24th November 2016:
- Increasing the Tier 2 (General) salary threshold for experienced workers to £25,000. Please note there will be some who are exempted from this threshold.
- The salary threshold for Short Term Staff in in the Tier2 Intra Company Transfer category will rise to £30,000.
- Reducing the salary threshold for Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer category for graduate trainees to £23,000 and increasing the annual number of places per company to 20.
- Closing the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Skills Transfer sub category.
Additionally, minor changes affecting other categories of the Points Based System including Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Exceptional Talent, Tier 2 (General) applications, Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme quotas and Tier 5 Maintenance funds will take place over the coming months.
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