Future changes to Tier 2 announced by the Government

24 March 2016

In response to the Migration Advisory Committee's (MAC) report published earlier this year, the Minister of State for Immigration, James Brokenshire, has announced today that reform to the Tier 2 category of the Points Based System will be implemented in two tranches, later this year (in the autumn) and in April 2017. The Government's announcement confirms that, as anticipated, it will be implementing the majority of the MAC's recommendations.

The Statement of Changes HC 877 (summarised in a recent update on our website) published earlier this month contained only minor changes for April 2016, however the changes announced today are part of the Government's plans to reduce Britain's reliance on migrant workers and will have more significant impact on migrants and employers in the UK.

The main changes include:

Tier 2 (General)

Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer)

Immigration Skills Charge
An Immigration Skills Charge will be levied on Tier 2 employers at a rate of £1,000 per person per year from April 2017, with a reduced rate of £364 for smaller businesses and charities. There will be an exemption for PhD occupations, Tier 2 (ICT - Graduate Trainees) and Tier 4 students switching to Tier 2.

The Government intends for the changes to the Immigration Rules for work categories to be fully implemented by April 2017 and for the changes to simplify the Rules, making them easier for sponsors and applicants to understand and use. The Government also announced that it would not restrict or remove dependants of Tier 2 migrants' automatic right to work in the UK, as discussed in the MAC report.

If you have any queries in relation to these future changes, please contact your Client Care Manager or enquiries@lauradevine.com.