Tier 2: new rules from 06 April 2017
A new law is expected to come into force on 6 April 2017 passing an Immigration Skills Charge where employers who sponsor workers from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) may be required to pay a fee. The skills charge will apply to sponsors of Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra- Company Transfer) workers who will be applying from outside of the UK and inside the UK when switching into or extending their visa under the Tier 2 route.
The skills charge will not apply when sponsoring:
• a non-EEA national who was sponsored in Tier 2 before 6 April 2017 and is applying from inside the UK to extend their Tier 2 stay with either the same sponsor or a different sponsor;
• a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Graduate Trainee;
• a worker to do a specified PhD level occupation;
• a Tier 4 student visa holder in the UK switching to a Tier 2 (General) visa.
The Tier 2 migrant’s family members do not have to pay the skills charge. The skills charge will be £1,000 per year for medium or large sponsors and £364 per year for small or charitable sponsors. It will be payable upfront and for the total period of time covered by the certificate of sponsorship. So for instance if a large sponsor issues a certificate of sponsorship valid for five years them they will be required to pay £5,000 upfront to cover the skills charge. The Home Office define a small business as employing 50 or fewer people or having an annual turnover of less than £10.2 million. The Home Office intend to spend the funds collected from the Immigration Skills Charge on addressing skills gaps in the UK workforce.
Also from April 2017, the Home Office plans to extend the requirement to provide a criminal record certificate to Tier 2 visa applicants coming to the UK to work in education, health and social care sectors and to their adult dependants.
Posted on Mar 07, 2017.