UK Immigration Rules have substantially changed the employment landscape for Tier 2 sponsor licence holders. One of the most changes is the rise in the minimum salary requirement for almost all applicants of the Tier 2 visa category.
Tier 2 is the UK’s immigration route for skilled professionals which enable non-E EA nationals to come to the UK for work purposes. In order to be successful, applicants for this visa category must have received a job offer from a UK employer to submitting their application and this employer must have a Tier 2 sponsor licence.
Due to a lack of home grown skills in the UK, most if not all UK employers look at one time or another to the overseas talent pool to satisfy their recruitment needs. The new Immigration Rules are making this resource all the more expensive, however, as from November this year the basic salary level required by the Home Office for such visa applications increased by 21%.
So what are the new salary thresholds as of November 2016?
Tier 2 (General):
The minimum Tier 2 salary threshold for experienced workers applying under the General route has increased from £20,800 to £25,000 and will be raised even further in April 2017 to £30,000.
There are exemptions, however, for example applications from New Entrants* to the Tier 2 visa category are still be subject to the previous minimum salary threshold of £20,800.
Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer (ICT):
The Tier 2 (ICT) immigration route has also experienced a hike in its minimum salary requirement, with the new threshold for applicants now set at £30,000.
This visa category has seen further changes which may also affect the salaries of migrant employees, for example the closure of the Tier 2 (ICT) subcategory Skills Transfer. This closure leaves only the Tier 2 (ICT) Short Term visa route and its minimum salary requirement of £30,000 open to these kinds of employee transfers.