UK government reminds public about autumn changes to immigration policies

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The UK government reminds the public that the new immigration policies for autumn have been in effect since 24th November 2016.

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Most of the changes affect the Tier 2 category, but other categories such as Tier 1 and Tier 4 have also been affected. The general changes are as follows:

  • The salary threshold for new Tier 2 General hires has now been enhanced to £25,000 from £2,000. However, this will not affect workers sponsored before 24 November 2016, who applied to extend their Tier 2 General visa. Several positions such as nurses, medical radiographers, paramedics, as well as secondary school teachers in maths, physics, chemistry, computer science and Mandarin are exempt from this; though this exemption will end on July 2019.
  • Starting salary for new Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer (ICT) for short-term staff has been improved to £30,000 from just £24,800.
  • The Tier 2 ICT Skills transfer sub-category has been temporarily closed to new applications.
  • Foreign graduate hires are now more prioritised within the Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) monthly allocation system.
  • Nurses will remain on the Shortage Occupations category.
  • There is no longer a 28-day grace period for overstayers, and all applications for further leave to remain (spouse visa) by an overstayer will be declined unless a ‘good cause' has been provided. Applicants must submit their applications within 14 days of their leave expiring.
  • For Tier 1, a clarification that the company’s register of members must come from Companies House.

The government also said that an introduction of a new English Language requirement at Level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is now compulsory for applicants who want further leave to remain as a Non-EEA family member or parent. "This affects 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 Rule," said the government. New changes for the next season will be announced via the government’s official website.

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