Changes to Tier 2 of the points based immigration system

immigration passport stamp

24 / 3 / 2016 4.28pm

The government has announced plans to make changes to the way Tier 2 of the points based immigration system operates, following the Migration Advisory Committee’s review of Tier 2. 

The proposed changes will have implications for the recruitment of skilled professionals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). 

The main changes include:

  • raising the overall Tier 2 minimum salary threshold from £20,800 to £25,000 in autumn 2016, and £30,000 in April 2017 - there will be an exemption for nurses, medical radiographers and paramedics from the higher threshold until July 2019
  • a new separate minimum salary threshold of £20,800 for new entrants into Tier 2
  • nurses will remain on the Shortage Occupation List, but employers will be required to carry out a Resident Labour Market Test before recruiting a non-EEA nurse
  • an immigration skills charge will be applied to employers of non-EEA  migrants, this means an additional charge of £1,000 per certificate of sponsorship per year - PhD level occupations and those switching from a Tier 4 student visa to a Tier 2 visa will be exempt.

Next steps

The changes will come into effect in two stages, autumn 2016 and April 2017.

It is likely that further detail will become available when the government looks to implement the changes into the immigration rules.

Further information

The full ministerial statement is available on the website.

We will publish further information when it becomes available on our website and in our weekly workforce bulletin.

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