The end of the Tier 2 cooling-off period is on the horizon

Whilst we are all awaiting new Immigration Rules for the Skilled Worker route, which will replace Tier 2 (General) in the new Points-Based Immigration System, some good news is starting to emerge. The cooling-off period, which has seen many a skilled migrant having to spend a year outside the UK before they can return to work, will not be carried over to the new Skilled Worker route.

The Home Office has been actively engaging with stakeholders in recent weeks to explain some of the finer details of the system.

The cooling-off period rule has created havoc for vast numbers of skilled migrants, and their employers, under both Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer).

What about cooling off for those who intend to stay in the ICT route? The Home Office has already confirmed in its Further Details document published in July that:

We plan to replace the existing rules with a rule that more simply requires that an overseas intra-company transfer must not hold entry clearance or leave to enter or remain as an intra-company transferee for more than five years in any six-year period, except where they qualify to be granted up to nine years on the basis of their salary.

What all this means in practice is that anyone who is currently making plans based on the current cooling-off period rules should, if possible depending on the visa expiry date, wait until the new system goes live. They should then be able to benefit from the new rules.

Posted on Sep 23, 2020.

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