Migration Advisory Committe Tier 2 Review

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has now published its long awaited review of Tier 2 of the points-based system. In June 2015, the government commissioned the MAC to review the route and to address concerns the government has with the rising number of migrants in the Tier 2 route.

Unsurprisingly, given the government’s commitment to reduce net migration, the MAC has recommended radical changes to the Tier 2 route that can be found summarised below:

  • The minimum salary threshold should be raised from the current £20,800 to £30,000;
  • For public sector migrant workers there should be a phased increase in the salary threshold;
  • A salary threshold of £23,000 should be available to graduates;
  • An Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) should be introduced – the MAC suggests that an upfront charge of £1,000 per year for each Tier 2 migrant employed by companies in the UK and that this charge should be in addition to the increase in salary thresholds and paid by employers;
  • That the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) route for third-party contracting salary threshold should be raised to £41,500;

The MAC has also confirmed that they do not recommend the below, that had previously been proposed, which is of some good news to employers and migrant workers and their dependents:

  • The MAC does not recommend that Tier 2 (General) is restricted only to occupations on an expanded shortage occupation list;
  • The MAC does not recommend restricting work rights for Tier 2 dependents.

At present the above are only recommendations. It is for the government to review the recommendations and if they agree to put it into effect by publishing a new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules. 

The government are still considering the MAC’s review into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route that was published in October 2015.

We will continue to keep you updated.

Posted in English on Jan 18, 2016.