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New Requirements for UK Tier 2 Visas

The UK Government has announced that from next year there will be tougher requirements to come under Tier 2 of the points based system. This follows recent recommendations by the Migration Advisory Committee.

Alan Johnson the Home Secretary announced that from next year the following changes will take place:

  • Jobs must be advertised in the Government's Jobcentre Plus for four weeks instead of the current two weeks. This is to give resident workers more time in which to apply.
  • Overseas workers who are looking to transfer to work in their employer's UK office will need to have worked for the overseas company for twelve months instead of the existing six month period.
  • The minimum salary to gain entry as a skilled worker to be able to work in the United Kingdom will rise from GBP17,000 to GBP20,000.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said:

'The introduction of the points-based system has radically improved our ability to respond quickly to changing economic circumstances.

'We have now accepted all of the committee's recommendations and we will continue to work with them to make sure that we use the flexibility in the points-based system to the best advantage of society and the economy.

'These changes will ensure that businesses can recruit the skilled workers that the economy needs, but not at the expense of British workers, nor as a cheaper alternative to investing in the skills of the existing workforce.'

The Government has decided to put into place all of the sixteen recommendations made by the Migration Advisory Committee. The Government says that they have taken into account the opinions of both businesses and key public service organizations and also say that they will continue to work with business to develop a plan for implementing the recommendations.

It should be noted that tougher entry requirements are probably not in the long term interests of the UK. The UK will need immigrants to fully recover from the recent economic downturn.