Salary Threshold for Tier 2 Graduate Trainees to reduce

Salary Threshold for Tier 2 Graduate Trainees to reduce

August 19, 2016 | Immigration, Latest Thinking, News

It is that time of the year when several overseas students would now have graduated from their studies and will be seeking employment by way of Tier 2 Sponsorship in the UK. Likewise, many UK employers will also start actively seeking talented overseas graduates to fill roles in their UK businesses. One such category which fulfills the criteria is known as the Tier 2 ICT (Graduate Trainee) visa category. This type of visa is for transfers into UK graduate trainee programmes for specialist roles. The applicant needs to be a recent graduate with at least 3 months’ experience with their employer overseas.

At present a UK employer must pay a minimum of £24,800 to overseas graduates to bring them to the UK under this category. However, from October 2016, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will be lowering the salary threshold from the existing £24,800 to £23,000 per annum. Due to this change, UKVI are expecting to receive a higher number of applications from UK employers looking to recruit overseas graduates into their Graduate Trainee programmes. The UKVI also plan on increasing the number of Tier 2 Graduate Trainee positions for sponsors from 5 to 25, per sponsor.

Whilst the above is a welcome change and UK businesses seem to be eager to recruit overseas graduates, however, the flip side is that all Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer hires and their dependent family members will be subject to paying the mandatory Immigration Health Surcharge of £200 per year from October 2016 onwards (at present Tier 2 ICT applicant and their dependent family members are exempt).

Tier 2 (General) category

In addition to the above change, the salary for Tier 2 (General) new hires will be increased from £20,800 to £25,000, this will not apply to New Entrants who are under the age of 26 years, switching from a Tier 4 visa after successfully completing and passing their course, or those who have been recruited through the milk- round process, which is a common practice used by universities.

We strongly advise UK employers to factor the above into their annual budgets, or contact us to seek clarity. These changes will affect all applications submitted from October 2016, the exact date is yet to be confirmed, however we will post regular updates with this information, once it becomes available.

For further information, please contact the Global Mobility Professional you deal with at Hudson McKenzie. Alternatively, you can send an email at or call us on +44 (0)20 3318 5794.