l a t e s t n e w s
INSiGHT from Smith Stone Walters
tIer 1 & tIer 2 revIsIons go lIve
The last big change to Tiers 1 (highly skilled workers) and 2 (skilled workers with a job offer) of thePoints Based System took place on 6 April 2010.An updated points table for Tier 2 with higher salary bands. These adjustments ensure thatall applicants in non-shortage occupations now need to have prospective annual earnings of atleast £20,000. A further modification means that any intra-company transferees unable toobtain additional points due to holding formal qualifications will now need prospective UKearnings of at least £32,000 to qualify.The introduction of new sub-categories for intra-company transfers that enable multinationalcompanies to transfer staff to the UK to take short-term graduate placements or for short-termskills transfers.Since the introduction of these changes it has become apparent from speaking with both employersand migrant workers that the decision to
prevent intra-company transfers from seeking settlementin the UK
has had the most impact. Whilst most assignees do not necessarily see their future in theUK, many like to have their option to settle in this country left open. As such, some migrants arenow electing to seek entry to the UK via the Tier 1 highly skilled route rather than that of being Tier2 intra-company transfers in order to keep their path to residency open. We advise employers to takenote of this trend.In regard to these new restrictions, we have obtained further clarity from the UKBAPolicy Department about whether employers can offer
contracts for UKemployment to migrant workers seeking entry to the UK under the
Tier 2intra-company transfer route. They have confirmed that they see this as acceptable. However, weremind employers of the need to advise all those staff members seeking entry to the UK under thistemporary category of the residency constraint it places upon them and their accompanyingfamily members.
Remember: Smith Stone Walters staff are on hand to advise you in allmatters involving UK immigration law.
These changes included:
A new points table for Tier 1that now allows applicants withprevious annual incomes of £150,000 or more to come to theUK as Tier 1 migrants even if theyhave no formal higher-levelqualifications.A tightening of the qualifyingcriteria for intra-companytransferees, requiring them tohave 12 months of companyexperience before transferring.In order to reflect the temporarynature of intra-company transfers,this category will also no longerlead to settlement in the UK.