On 10 June 2015  the Prime Minster announced that the Migration Advisory Committee had been asked to advise on how non-EU work migration can be reduced in the following ways:

  • restricting work visas to genuine skills shortages and highly specialist experts
  • setting a time limit on how long a sector can claim to have a skills shortage
  • a new skills levy on Tier 2 visas to help boost funding to UK apprenticeships
  • raising salary thresholds to stop businesses using foreign workers to undercut wages:
    • restrictions on the automatic right of Tier 2 dependants to work
    • tightening up on the Intra-company Transferee (ICT) route, including applying the new immigration health surcharge to ICTs.

It is envisaged that the vast majority of the proposals will be delivered by the end of the year. The Home Secretary has asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to fast track proposals on raising the salary thresholds of Tier 2 visas in time for the Autumn Immigration Rule change announcements.

These proposed changes are likely:

  • To make it more difficult to sponsor migrants in certain jobs and many types of jobs may not be eligible for sponsorship
  • Only those jobs where specialist skills are required may be eligible for sponsorship
  • Restrictions on the Intra-company Transfer route will make it more difficult for employers transferring skilled staff from overseas
  • The levy on Tier 2 visas to find apprenticeships will make Tier 2 sponsorship even more expensive.

If you have any queries as to how these changes would have an impact upon your business please contact our Immigration Partner, Dhruti Thakrar.

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

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