The Home Office has introduced the following changes which affect Tier 2 and 5 Sponsors:

  • Record-keeping duties – for new migrant employees, Sponsors must keep copies of references, DBS checks, job descriptions and qualifications;
  • Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) – where a Sponsor advertises a vacancy on Universal Jobmatch, it must take a screenshot on the date the vacancy is first advertised;
  • Genuineness test – if the Home Office refuses an entry clearance or leave to remain application because it does not consider the job role to be genuine. It may suspend the Sponsor Licence to carry out further investigation.

The Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) review of Tier 2 published on 19 January 2016 has made the following recommendations:

  • Immigration Health Surcharge – Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) (ICT) migrants should be subject to this;
  • Immigration Skills Charge – employers should pay a levy to encourage them to invest in training UK employees. MAC suggests £1,000 per year per Tier 2 migrant;
  • Minimum salary threshold – MAC recommends an increase to £30,000;
  • ICT overseas service – migrants should have worked for their overseas company for 24 months, an increase from 12 months;
  • RLMT – Tier 2 (General) in-country switching applications should be subject to the RLMT.

The Government is considering the recommendations and may introduce the changes in April this year.