Details of Tier 2 changes unveiled
The UK Border Agency has elaborated the annual limit criteria for Tier 2, which will take effect on 6 April 2011.
Unlike at present where businesses are given an annual allocation, employers will now have to apply for a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) from the UK Border Agency for a specific post.
The New Quota
The Government has earmarked a quota of 20,700 visas under the Tier 2 category of the points-based system. This annual quota will be divided into 12 monthly allocations of which 4,200 certificate of sponsorship will be made available in April 2011 and subsequently 1,500 places will be set each month. Any places that are unused each month will be rolled over to the following month.
If the monthly allocation is over subscribed, certificate of sponsorship applications will be ranked using a points system designed to favour jobs on the shortage occupation list, scientific researchers and those with a higher salary. Once a certificate of sponsorship has then been granted to an employer it must be assigned to the prospective employee within three months.
However, it is worth noting that jobs that attract a salary of £150,000 or more will not be subject to the limit on the number of certificate of sponsorship that may be allocated.
Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer
The Tier 2 Intra-Company transfer route will not be subject to an annual limit. There will be certain changes to this category which are as follows:-
- the job will have to be on the UK Border Agency’s graduate occupation list;
- Individuals who are paid £40,000 or more will be granted a visa for two years and can later apply for an extension for further three years;
- Individuals who are paid between £24,000 and £40,000 will be allowed to come to the UK for no longer than 12 months, at which point they must leave and will not be able to re-apply for 12 months.
It is worth noting that today’s statement of intent is not definitive, as the rules are subject to Parliamentary scrutiny. However, businesses now have a better understanding and can make plans as to how to implement these changes.
We urge businesses to revisit their Intra-Company transfer requirements and as per their needs, apply for CoS under the old rules.
If you have any questions regarding the above or need to understand how these changes will affect you, please send an email to one of our London immigration lawyers or at email@example.com.