Changes for Tier 2 migrants

The UK Border Agency has introduced changes to the Immigration Rules for indefinite leave to remain for Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) and Tier 2 (Sportsperson) categories which will come into effect in April 2016. Migrants and employers are being made aware of the changes well in advance.

Minimum salary for ILR applications from April 2016

Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Sportsperson) migrants wishing to apply for indefinite leave to remain will have to demonstrate that they are receiving gross salary of £35,000 per year or the appropriate amount for their job as set out in the Codes of Practice, if this amount is over £35,000. The Codes of Practice can be found on the UK Border Agency website.  Tier 2 (Sportsperson) migrants will also have to provide evidence from their employer to demonstrate that they meet the new minimum pay threshold.

There will be an exemption from the £35,000 minimum pay threshold for migrants who are sponsored in a job listed either on the PhD-level occupation list or the shortage occupation list at any point during the migrant’s sponsored employment.  Such migrants will still need to meet the salary requirements published in the Codes of Practice for their particular job.

Tier 2 (Ministers of Religion) migrants will not be subject to the changes in respect of indefinite leave to remain.

It should be noted that taken together with the six year limit on the duration of stay for Tier 2 migrants introduced into the Immigration Rules in April 2012, the changes will put considerable pressure on employers who may be losing their key personnel where they are unable to meet the new settlement requirements.  The vast majority of Tier 2 migrants in this situation will have no option but to leave the UK with no right to return in the same immigration category for 12 months. The new changes do provide some flexibility for employers who wish to bring over migrants on short assignments of three months or less as they will be exempt from this 12 month “cooling off” period.  Only high earners (those earning £155,300 or more) are exempt from both the “cooling off” period and the six year limit on duration of stay.

Posted on: 31st March 2016, by : ICS_shajjad