The first report outlines changes to tier 1, tier 2 and tier 5 of the points based system; overseas domestic workers; and visitors. The second details the limit on Tier 2 (General) for 2012/13 and associated policies.
Carried out in 2011, the review was done through running a series of consultation and call for evidence requests by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
The majority of findings have now been analysed and the UKBA plan to lay the proposed changes before Parliament in mid-March, with a view to their implementation in April 2012.
The NHS Employers organisation has worked closely with the Department of Health and UKBA throughout the consultation process to ensure that the needs of the NHS have been reflected and has made significant progress with many of issues being encountered by employers.
Report on limit on Tier 2 (General) for 2012/13 and associated policies
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report focusses on the level at which the limit on Tier 2 (General) for restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) applications should be set during 2012/13. The report also addresses issues relating to the following categories of Tier 2 migrants that impact on the NHS:
- migrants coming to the UK filling vacancies subject to the resident labour market test (RLMT)
- migrants coming to the UK filling vacancies for occupations on the shortage occupation list.
The following options have been put forward by MAC for consideration by parliament:
- the level of restricted CoS will be set at 20,700 for 2012/13
- the skill levels to be raised to NQF6+ for Tier 2 applications
- exempt shortage occupation list from NQF6+ requirement – this should remain set at the current level of NQF4+ and impose transitional arrangements limiting the time they are allowed to remain on the list. Occupations subsequently added to the list must reach the required skill level for Tier 2.
- exclude job titles that are not in national shortage from eligibility under Tier 2.
- allow jobs with skilled to NQF4+ to remain eligible for Tier 2 (RLMT) but increase the minimum Tier 2 (General Salary) level from £20,000
- recognise that nurses are skilled to level NQF6+
- remove the requirements for employers to advertise in Jobcentre Plus to meet the RLMT for jobs with an annual salary of £70,000 to £150,000 and PhD level jobs. The 4 week advertising period in an appropriate medium should remain.
Read the full report from the UKBAs website
Statement of Intent: changes to Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 5 of the points based system; overseas domestic workers; and visitors
The UK Border Agency has published the Statement of Intent, which sets out changes covering how and when migrant workers will qualify to apply for settlement and the introduction of new categories in Tier 1 and the visitor route. The changes will be laid before Parliament on 15 March and come into force on 6 April
The UKBA will also change how it describes limited leave to remain (LTR) and indefinite leave to remain (ILR). These will become temporary and permanent leave respectively.
Tier 1: The Tier 1 extension of temporary leave to remain and settlement rules are unchanged. A new category will be introduced, Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur for graduates from a UK universities, who have or want to develop an existing viable business proposition. The universities will be the sponsor.
Tier 2: A minimum pay threshold will be introduced for Tier 2 (General) migrants who apply for settlement from 6 April 2016. This will be either £35,000 per annum (gross) or the appropriate rate for the occupation shown on the CoS based on UKBAs Code of Practice whichever is higher. Some roles will be exempt from the pay threshold, including some PhD level jobs and those on the shortage occupation list.
The pay threshold will be held at £35,000 until 5 April 2018 and will be subject to review in 2013. The following rule changes will also take effect:
- tier 2 temporary leave will be capped at a maximum of six years
- migrants who leave the UK will have to wait for 12 months after the expiry of their previous Tier 2 before they can apply for a further period of Tier 2 leave.
Tier 5: None of the planned changes impact on NHS organisations.
The full report is available on the Home Office website.