PREMABLE

❖ From 09:00AM on 1s December 2020, a new UK Immigration System will come into force.

❖ From 1st January 2021, freedom of movement for EU Nationals will end. All non-British/Settled and non-Irish nationals seeking to enter the UK from 1st January 2021 will need a visa before they travel to the UK if they intend to live, work or study in the UK.

❖ The Immigration Categories will be renamed:

CURRENT IMMIGRATION CATEGORYIMMIGRATION CATEGORY FROM 1ST JANUARY 2021
TIER 1 (Entrepreneur)START-UP/INNOVATOR*
*Was renamed in 2020
TIER 1 (Exceptional Talent)GLOBAL TALENT*
*Was renamed in 2020
TIER 1 (Post-Study Work)* *Being reintroducedGRADUATE
TIER 2 (General)SKILLED WORKER
TIER 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFER
TIER 4 (General)STUDENT*
•   Was renamed in 2020
TIER 5 (Youth Mobility)YOUTH MOBILITY SCHEME

TIER 2 (GENERAL) CATEGORY REPLACED WITH THE SKILLED WORKER CATEGORY

Overview:

❖ The Tier 2 Migrant Category will be replaced with the Skilled Worker Category.

❖ The material changes will primarily be:

  • There will be no cap on the number of people who can come to the UK for sponsored employment, namely under the current Tier 2 category. Therefore, no longer need to submit an Allocation request before the 5 th of the month and wait until 13th of the same month, as this process will be abolished.
  • There will be no Resident Labour Market Test.
  • The minimum level of pay will go down from £30,000.00 to £25,600.00 or to £20,480.00 for jobs in the shortage occupation list.
  • The level of skill required for sponsored employment will be lowered to RQF Level 3, as compared to the current RQF Level 6.
  • The cooling-off period will be abolished.
  • The maximum timeframe of 6 years that an Applicant can be on a Tier 2 General Migrant Visa will be abolished.

❖ In essence, the changes for the Tier 2 Category, means that the route will be open not only to senior management and professionals, however also for secretarial and junior executive positions. The minimum salary will be lowered, and there will be no restriction on the number of people who can take advantage of this route.

How will the new Points System work for the Skilled Worker Category:

❖ The new system will introduce a combination of the terms “tradeable” and “non-tradeable” points.
❖ Non-tradeable points will be the mandatory requirements mirroring the current requirements in place:
▪ Offer of employment from an approved sponsor;
▪ Job requiring an appropriate level of skill, at least RQF Level 3;
▪ Knowledge of English at the required level – You can now meet this
requirement if you have a GCSE, A Level qualification.
❖ Meeting the non-tradeable points will give an Applicant 50 Points out of 70 Points, required for a successful Application.
❖ Remaining 20 Points will be given for the Appropriate Level of Salary.
❖ In order to attain the remaining 20 Points, the requirements are:
▪ Minimum salary must be £25,600.00;
▪ Salary Points can be traded against additional points given for PhD or if the job is on the job shortage occupation list.
▪ An Applicant with a PhD in Science, Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics will allow the Applicant to accept a Job with the Annual Salary as low as £20,480.00.
▪ An Applicant with a PhD in any other field related to the occupation can have a starting salary from £23,040.00.

Minimum Pay Threshold and Occupation-Specific Thresholds:

❖ The Standard Occupation Classification Codes (SOC Codes) will remain in place and there is no indication the existing levels/occupations within the designated levels will change.
❖ The SOC Codes will set the minimum pay when the occupation specific minimum pay level is higher than the minimum standard threshold of £25,600.00.
❖ “New Entrants” will be applicable for 5 years instead of 3 years. Under the current system, after 3 years an employee is deemed to be an “Experienced Worker.” However, from 1st December 2020, a new entrant will apply for the first 5 years.
❖ The current minimum threshold of £35,800.00 in order for a Tier 2 (General) Migrant to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain is abolished.
❖ Consequently, a Tier 2 (General) Migrant can earn the continuous minimum threshold of £25,600.00 for a period of 5 years and this salary will qualify the employee to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

What is not changing:

❖ Applicants must demonstrate an ability to speak English at B1 Level (lower intermediate).
❖ There will be no regional salary thresholds or different arrangements for different parts of the UK.

Immigration Skills Charge:

❖ Immigration Skills Charges introduced in April 2017 will remain:
▪ £364.00 per year for a small business or charity or
▪ £1,000.00 per year for a medium/large organisation.
❖ Exemptions for the Immigration Skill Charges will remain for PhD Level Occupations and those switching in-country from a Tier 4 Migrant Visa to a Tier 2 Migrant Visa.


TIER 2 (ICT) CATEGORY REPLACED WITH THE INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFER CATEGORY

Overview:

❖ Threshold for high earners has been reduced to £73,900.00.
❖ ICT Migrants can switch into the new Skilled Worker Category from inside the UK. Attaining 5 years on the Skilled Worker Category provides a path to Indefinite Leave to Remain.
❖ The Cooling-Off period will be abolished.
❖ Time spent on a ICT Visa will not lead to Settlement.

What is not changing under the ICT Route:

❖ The proposed Job Role must be at the highly skilled level of RQF 6 (Degree level and above) and be on SOC Code job list.
❖ Applicants must have been working for an overseas entity linked by common ownership and control to the UK sponsor for at least 12 months before the Application unless their earnings are over £73,900.00.
❖ Applicants must be earning at least £41,500.00 or the SOC code minimum,
whichever is higher.
❖ ICT Migrants may only remain in the UK for five years (nine years if they earn over £73,900.00).
❖ There are no regional salary thresholds or different arrangements for different parts of the UK.
❖ There is no English language requirement.


POINTS-BASED SYSTEM

❖ The Home Office will introduce a Points-Based System where Applicants can be “trade” characteristics such as their specific job offer and qualification against a lower salary.

❖ Proposed breakdown will be as follows:

CHARACTERISTICSTRADEABLEPOINTS
OFFER OF JOB BY APPROVED SPONSORNO20
JOB AT APPROPRIATE SKILL LEVELNO20
ENGLISH AT REQUIRED LEVELNO10
SALARY BETWEEN: £20,480.00 (MINIMUM) – £23,039.00YES0
SALARY BETWEEN: £23,040.00 – £25,599.00YES10
SALARY FROM £25,600.00YES20
JOB SHORTAGE OCCUPATIONYES20
EDUCATION QUALIFICATION: PHD IN SUBJECT RELEVANT TO THE JOBYES10
EDUCATION QUALIFICATION: PHD IN A STEM ROUTE SUBJECT RELEVANT TO THE JOBYES 20
TOTALMUST REACH
70 POINTS

❖ As  per  the  above  table  50  Points  are  Non-Tradeable,  however  20  Points  are Tradeable.

❖ The effect of this is that the way the system will work is that individuals will be able to earn below the minimum salary for the route provided they have a relevant, high-level qualification or their job is deemed to be one where the required skills are in short supply.

❖ The Home Office has stated they will in the future add further tradeable attributes. For example, this may include a greater range of qualification levels or other factors such as age or experience studying in the UK.


Table Summary of Changes

CURRENT TIER 2 CATEGORY**NEW ** SKILLED WORKER CATEGORY
Proposed Job Role must be at RQF Level 6 (Degree Level and above) on the SOC Code ListThe proposed Job Role must be at RQF Level 3 (School Leaver and above) on the SOC Code List
Experience Workers must earn at least £30,000.00 or the SOC Code salary minimum, whichever is higherExperience Workers must earn at least £25,600.00 or the SOC Code minimum salary, whichever is higher.   Lower salary thresholds are available for those roles which are at PhD Level or are on the Shortage Occupation List.
New Entrants must earn at least £20,800.00 or the New Entrant SOC Code salary minimum whichever is higher.New Entrants salary will be set 30% lower than the experienced workers SOC Code minimum salary.
The Sponsor must undertake a Resident Labour Market Test before assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship if the role is not on the Job Shortage Occupation List or pays over £159,600.00The Resident Labour Market Test will be abolished
An annual quota of 20,700 applies for overseas Applicants unless the role is on the Job Shortage Occupation List or pays over £159,600.00The Annual Quota will be abolished
Applicants are subject to a 12-month Cooling-Off period whereby they cannot apply for a new Tier 2 Visa within 12 months of their previous Tier 2 Visa expiring, unless they earn over
£159,600.00
The Cooling-Off Period will be abolished.
Tier 2 (General) Migrants are permitted to remain in the UK for a maximum period of 6 years.The 6 year limit will be abolished.
Tier 2 (General) Migrants must earn a specified minimum salary level to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.The minimum salary level for Indefinite Leave to Remain will be abolished.