UK Visas and Immigration
The government announced today, 3 November, changes to the Immigration Rules which will affect applications made on or after 24 November unless stated otherwise.
The main changes are outlined below:
Implement the first of 2 phases of changes to Tier 2, announced by the government in March following a review by the Independent Migration Advisory Committee.
- Increasing the Tier 2 (General) salary threshold for experienced workers to 25,000, with some exemptions
- Increasing the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) salary threshold for short term staff to 30,000
- Reducing the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) graduate trainee salary threshold to 23,000 and increasing the number of places to 20 per company per year
- Closing the Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) skills transfer sub-category
These changes will come into effect for all certificates of sponsorship assigned by Tier 2 sponsors on or after 24 November 2016. The date from which intra company transfers will be liable for the health surcharge will be announced in due course.
A number of changes are being made, including amendments to the academic progression rule, maintenance requirements for the Doctorate Extension Scheme and evidence of overseas qualifications, UK qualifications used as evidence, and a series of minor and technical adjustments.
English language requirement
As announced in January this year, a new English language requirement at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is being introduced for non-EEA partners and parents.
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 Rules. The new requirement will apply to partners and parents whose current leave under the family Immigration Rules is due to expire on or after 1 May 2017.
More information is available in the statement of changes.