1. MIMIUM THRESHOLD SALARY INCREASE FOR TIER 2

Hiring skilled non-EEA workers is set to become much more expensive for UK employers

Tier 2 threshold salaries are to be increased from the current minimum of £20,800 to £25,000 this autumn and will then jump to £30,000 from April 2017.

Please note that the salary increases will not apply to some key public sector roles such as teachers and nurses until January 2019. Also employees in entrant-level roles (graduate hires), Tier 4 student to Tier 2 switchers, or anyone aged 25 or under will be exempt from the salary increases.

  1. IMMIGRATION SKILLS CHARGE TO BE INTRODUCED

 

From April 2017 UK employers will have to pay a levy for every non- EEA employee they wish to hire under the Tier 2 skilled workers visa category.

 

The specific charge will be £1000 for sponsoring the employee for each year of their visa. So for example a three year Tier 2 hire will cost the employer an additional £9000. This fee will be payable in advance during the application process.

 

There is a reduced rate of £364 if you qualify as a small business or you are a charity. PhD occupations will be exempt from the levy.

 

The above fee will inflate costs for hiring overseas workers considerable especially when Home Office fees and the health surcharge are also factored into the equation.

 

  1. TIER 2 (INTRA COMPANY TRANSFER) TO BE SIMPLIFIED

 

The route will be changed to facilitate the transfer of specialists and senior managers. The current intra-company transfer provisions are being simplified by requiring all intra-company transferees to qualify under a single visa category with a minimum salary threshold of £41,500, with the exception of the graduate trainees.

 

There will be a transitional period until April 2017 to allow those affected to plan for the changes. In autumn 2016, the Skills Transfer category will be closed to new applications and the minimum salary threshold for the Short Term category will increase to £30,000. From April 2017, the Short Term category will close to new applications.

In light of the above changes we strongly advise businesses to review their recruitment needs and budget in line with the new immigration costs in time for the autumn 2016 and April 2017 changes.

For further information, advice and assistance please contact Shamaila Khan, Business Immigration Solicitor at The London Law Practice shamaila@londonlawpractice.com

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