The Government has today released a Statement of Changes, presented by the Home Office on 15 June 2018 and set to come into force from 6 July 2018.
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said:
“Today’s changes show that we are able to adapt to meet the demands of our frontline services and ensure we are able to attract people who can bring real benefits to our creative industries.”
A summary of the main changes affecting economic migration are as follows:
Tier 2 (General)
Employers who have a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence and are looking to bring new employees to the UK for less than £159,600 to work must request a Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (“RCoS”) from the Home Office. In recent months, the annual limit of 20,700 RCoS a year has proved insufficient to meet the needs of Sponsors.
To attend to this oversubscription and to address the needs of the NHS, nurses and doctors coming to work in the UK will no longer be included in the annual cap. As such, the pressure should be relieved on applicants in other occupations looking to come to the UK to work.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
Tier 2 (General) employees who have taken maternity, paternity or adoption leave during their qualifying period will, from 6 July 2018, be required to submit evidence of the underlying adoption or birth with their application to have their full qualifying period considered permissible.
Absences from the UK taken prior to 11 January 2018 will continue to be calculated in line with the guidance in force at the time of absence. This effectively provides a transitional arrangement for the ‘rolling’ absence calculation introduced earlier this year.
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
Endorsement of arts applicants is to be widened from 6 July 2018 to include those in the fashion industry who are operating leading designer fashion businesses. What constitutes a leading designer fashion business will be assessed by the British Fashion Council.
The transition of the treatment of Croatian nationals under UK immigration law to align with other EEA Nationals.
What this means for you and your business?
The majority of the changes to the Immigration Rules coming into force on 6 July 2018 will have a minor technical impact on particular applicants and their applications and we would encourage applicants to discuss with their immigration advisor whether the changes will impact them.
We welcome the changes dealing with the oversubscription of RCoS, and anticipate over the coming months, the minimum salary/points required for a RCoS request to be approved will fall back towards pre-December 2017 levels. The Government has confirmed that these changes will be kept under review.
How we can help
Please do not hesitate to contact your Magrath Sheldrick representative or write to Immigration@magrath.co.uk for guidance in respect of any aspect of the Tier 2 sponsorship schemes and the UK Immigration Rules generally.