Tier 2 Visa - Major changes from 6 April 2011

Wed, 2011-04-06 11:49 AM

Tier 2 Visa changes include the following:
All immigrants wishing entry to the UK must be filling a graduate level position. You do not necessarily need to have an academic position. However, you will need to show that you have the right level of skills for the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). Following recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee 71 occupations can no longer come under the Tier 2 visa scheme. UK immigration considers that these occupations are below "graduate level". This will be relevant both for Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (ICT) applications.
The UKBA also published a revised List of Shortage Occupations, 8 occupations were removed from the list where it was decided there is no longer a shortage of skills.

Tier 2 General Visa Changes:
Over a period of a year from 6 April 2011 to 5 April 2011 there will be an annual limit of 20,700 visas. This will apply to restricted Certificates of Sponsorship. Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship will apply in the following cases:

  • If you were previously sponsored under Tier 2 (General) or as a Work Permit holder on or before 5 April 2011 and wish to extend your visa;
  • If you wish to move to a different employer;
  • If you have an annual salary of GBP150,000 or more;
  • If you wish to switch immigration category from Tier 1 PSW or Tier 1 General categories to Tier 2 Visa.

In April 2011 4,200 certificates of sponsorship will be available. After the first month 1,500 certificates of sponsorship will be available per month until 5 April 2012.
You will as a Sponsor be able to request 'restricted' CoS up to three months before the start date. The certificates of sponsorship will be allocated on the 11th of each month.

Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer changes
From 6 April 2011 there will two new sub-categories of Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT). Below are further details of the two Tier 2 (ICT) subcategories:
For stays of up to Four years:

  • Tier 2 (ICT) is available for graduate level employees for a period exceeding 12 months, up to a maximum 60 months in total.
  • The job the migrant will do must be at a graduate level or above with a minimum salary of £40,000 per annum.
  • You will granted a Tier 2 Visa for a period of 3 years and 4 months. This visa category will not lead to settlement (permanent residence) in the UK.

For stays of up to twelve months:
The Tier 2 (ICT) Visa in this situation is available again only for graduate level positions with a minimum salary of £24,000.

  • You will granted a Tier 2 Visa for a period of up to twelve months. This visa category will not lead to settlement (permanent residence) in the UK.
  • If you will be earning £40,000 per annum you may be able to apply for a longer term Tier 2 (ICT) visa.

English Language Requirements Tier 2 (General) Visa
The English language requirements from 6 April 2011 for Tier 2 General applicants have been increased from basic to intermediate level. This is level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The English language requirements for Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer are unchanged.