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Tier 2 Is Under Review: Have Your Say

Tier 2 Is Under Review: Have Your Say

The Home Secretary has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review Tier 2 of the Points Based System by mid-December 2015. The review is aimed at exploring ways of significantly reducing economic migration to the UK. Tier 2 is the route used by skilled workers with a job offer in the UK. The MAC review is focused on Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfers). The Tier 2 (Sportsperson) and Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) categories are not part of this review.

The MAC has issued a call for evidence to inform its review. You have until 25 September 2015 to provide supporting evidence to the MAC.

The MAC has been asked to look at the following:

  • options for restricting Tier 2 (General) recruitment to genuine skills shortages and high specialist experts (and whether this approach should be extended to Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfers) and those switching from Tier 4);
  • how to limit the time that sectors can remain on the shortage occupation list;
  • the imposition of a Tier 2 skills levy, payable by the employer, to fund apprenticeships;
  • restrictions on the automatic right of Tier 2 dependants to work;
  • tightening up the intra-company transfer route (the most heavily used Tier 2 route), including applying the immigration health surcharge to it; and
  • raising the minimum salary levels that Tier 2 migrants have to be paid.

The full call for evidence document sets out the particular questions the MAC is seeking views and evidence on and can be found at the following link https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/441429/Call_for_Evidence_Review_of_Tier_2.pdf.

Responses on these issues should be sent to mac@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or to Migration Advisory Committee, 3rd Floor, Seacole Building, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF by 25 September 2015.

The current Westminster government has a clearly stated aim of reducing economic migration to the UK. Some of the changes under consideration could have a significant impact on the ability of UK businesses to recruit non-EEA nationals at a time when we are already seeing the monthly Tier 2 cap being reached and increasing numbers of Tier 2 (General) applications being unsuccessful. Interested parties are advised to participate in this review and have their say on these important issues.

Joanne Hennessy
Senior Associate