The Government published changes to the Immigration Rules on Friday 11 March. Notably the anticipated overhaul to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories of the Points Based System as recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee’s recent reports (our briefings on the MAC’s latest reports are detailed on our website) have not been implemented.
The paucity of changes in this April’s Statement of Changes is likely to be an indication that the Government did not have enough time to bring about the more sweeping changes, in particular to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 2 following the MAC’s reports. We therefore believe that more fundamental changes should be expected later this year.
The changes from this Statement of Changes HC 877 (mostly effective from Wednesday 6 April 2016) are relatively minor however some key changes to Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 5 are highlighted below for your information.
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
There are some encouraging changes within the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category which include:
Tier 2 (General)
The monthly allocations of Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS’) under the annual limit are being redistribute, although the overall limit of 20,700 will remain unchanged.
The limit begins in April each year, with places released monthly. Unused places are carried over from the previous month. The Government hopes that the revised allocations will better reflect seasonal demand for places across the year, based on recent trends. The provisional monthly allocations are to be as follows:
As in previous years, an annual uplift in line with wage inflation is being applied to the earnings threshold for Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Sportsperson) settlement applications. The uplifted threshold of £36,900 will apply to settlement applications made from 6 April 2021.
Tier 5 (Temporary Worker)
The maintenance requirements for all Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) routes will be amended to clarify that by a sponsor certifying maintenance, they sponsor is confirming that the application will not claim public funds during the period of their leave.
Should you have any queries in relation to these changes, please contact your Client Care Manager or firstname.lastname@example.org.