A number of changes to immigration laws are coming into force on 6 April 2014.

Change to Penalties for Employing An Illegal Worker

  • From 6 April 2014, the maximum civil penalty for employing an unauthorised migrant worker will double to £20,000. The increased penalty will apply to employers who continually breach the prevention of illegal working rules.

Visa Application Fees

  • The Government has proposed a list of fee changes for visas, immigration, nationality applications and premium services which will apply from 6 April 2014.
  • The cost of a Certificate of Sponsorship will remain at £184. However, Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) fees will increase. Employers should consult the Home Office website for the current rates.
  • There is a very significant increase to application fees for Tier 2 dependants.

Tier Two: Changes to Job Codes and Minimum Salary Levels

  • The minimum salary levels required for employees to be eligible for sponsorship for some roles under Tier 2 will change on 6 April 2014. Employers planning to sponsor employees after that date should check the new Codes of Practice to ensure that the new requirements are met.
  • Employers should consider assigning any Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship granted already by 5 April 2014. If the Certificate is not assigned by this date, the salary for the role must meet the new revised rates. 
  • Some Job Codes (or Standard Occupation Classification Codes) will also change on 6 April.

Migrant Health Levy – April 2015

  • Following a consultation process, it has been confirmed that a migrant health levy of £220 will be imposed with effect from April 2015. This will apply to non-EEA migrants, including those who have a Tier 2 visa. 
  • This fee will provide migrants with access to the NHS. It is currently proposed that the initial charge will be paid at the time of the visa application. 
  • With effect from April 2015, visitors to the UK (including business visitors) will be required to have medical insurance in place to cover the cost of emergency treatment.