UK makes major changes to the Immigration Rules


The Home Office has announced changes to the Immigration Rules which will affect a number of categories.

Here are the main changes.

Tier 2
The Home Office has decided to implement the first of 2 phases of changes to Tier 2, announced by the government in March following a review by the Independent Migration Advisory Committee.

The Tier 2 (General) salary threshold for experienced workers will be increased to £25,000, with some exemptions.

At the same time, the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) salary threshold for short term staff will be increased to £30,000.

The Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) graduate trainee salary threshold will be reduced to £23,000 while the number of places will be increased to 20 per company per year.

The Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) skills transfer sub-category will be closed.

The Home Office confirmed that the changes will come into effect for all certificates of sponsorship assigned by Tier 2 sponsors on or after 24th November 2016.

The date from which intra company transfers will be liable for the health surcharge is yet to be announced.

Tier 4
A number of changes will be made, including amendments to the academic progression rule, maintenance requirements for the Doctorate Extension Scheme and evidence of overseas qualifications, UK qualifications used as evidence, and a series of minor and technical adjustments.

English language requirement
A new English language requirement at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages will be introduced for non-EEA partners and parents.

The new rule will affect those applying to extend their stay after 2.5 years in the UK on a 5-year route to settlement under Appendix FM (Family Member) of the Immigration Rules.

The new requirement will apply to partners and parents whose current leave under the family Immigration Rules is due to expire on or after 1st May 2017.

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