Tier 2 (General)
The following changes are being made to the Tier 2 scheme:
• Flexibility is being introduced to enable students to apply to switch to Tier 2 after their studies as soon as they have completed their courses. Currently non PhD students cannot apply to switch within the UK until they have received their final results.
• Exemptions from the Resident Labour Market Test are being added for posts to be held by researcher applicants who are recipients of supernumerary research Awards and Fellowships, and for established research team members sponsored by either a Higher Education Institution or a Research Council.
• Pay rates for health sector workers are being brought into line with pay scales in England and each of the devolved administrations, and consolidated in a new table.
• Provision is being made to allow nurses to be sponsored under Tier 2 if they are undertaking an approved programme with a view to returning to practice.
• A provision that is currently set out in the Sponsor Guidance is being incorporated, which restricts how far a migrant’s start date may be put back before it becomes a prohibited change (ie 4 weeks). The restriction now applies only to Tier 2 (General) Migrants, and only to any changes to start date which occur after leave has been granted.
Changes to indefinite leave to remain in work categories
The requirement to have had absences from the UK of no more than 180 days per year in order to qualify for settlement, which currently applies to main applicants, is being extended to partners of Points-Based System Migrants. To ensure that this requirement does not have retrospective effect, only absences from the UK during periods of leave granted under the rules in place from 11 January 2018 will count towards the 180 days.
If you need Immigration legal assistance with your Tier 2 sponsorship licence application or your permanent residency application, please contact us.