Brexit aside, 2017 is set to be a big year for UK immigration policy.
The UK’s Immigration Rules are reviewed and amended twice a year, and the next bout of change is expected this April. The government has already announced a number of specific changes which will be implemented as of April 2017, but we also anticipate some surprises along the way.
Here, we outline three pieces of notable legislative change which we expect to see this April:
The Immigration Skills Charge
UK organisations hiring an overseas national in the UK will be subject to a new charge of £1,000 per migrant hire per valid visa year. This charge will substantially increase immigration costs for those who rely on talent from abroad and could end up pricing small employers and emerging industries out of the market.
The Immigration Health Surcharge for Tier 2 (ICT)
Applicants of the Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer (ICT) visa category will be subject to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). The IHS was introduced in 2015 to cover the health costs of migrants living, working and studying in the UK, and is already payable by many UK immigration applicants. Applicants will be charged £200 per valid visa year at the time of application, with any dependant(s) being charged the same amount.
Closure of Tier 2 (ICT) Short Term visa route
Tier 2 is the UK’s visa category for skilled professionals wanting to come to the UK to take up a job offer. The (ICT) Short Term subcategory allows employers to transfer professionals from abroad to the UK for up to 12 months into a role which cannot be filled by a UK recruit. This popular visa category is to close, however, leaving employers with only the stricter visa routes of Tier 2 General and Tier 2 ICT Long Term open for these kinds of transfers.
With or without the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the next 12 months will be a bumpy ride for those whose resourcing needs are reliant upon immigration to the UK.
Contact us for information and advice on how best to prepare your organisation for UK immigration change.