The Government has recently announced proposed changes to the Immigration Rules. Some of these changes are the nuts and bolts of the EU Settlement Scheme applicable to EU nationals and their family members post Brexit. However, proposed changes to Tier 2 PBS, effective from 29 March 2019, include:
- Switching to Tier 2 General status: Individuals currently in the UK as Tier 4 General Students will be able to switch into Tier 2 General status from within the UK up to 3 months prior to the completion of the relevant course. Presently, they need to wait until they have completed the relevant course (Bachelor's or Master's degree or Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Professional Graduate Diploma of Education)
A different way of working in terms of the Quota system: From late 2017 until Summer 2018, there was huge pressure on the Quota system which has an annual limit of 20,700, split into 12 unequal monthly allocations. Currently Requests under the monthly Quota are scored, amongst other things, basis remuneration for the prospective role in the UK and points scoring for remuneration is banded in £4,999 increments. This means that a Request with a gross allowable remuneration of £45,000 would score the same points as one of £49,999. Under the new system, however, points scoring for remuneration under the Tier 2 Quota system will be banded in £1,000 increments, which the Home Office hopes will create a fairer system should the Quota system become oversubscribed.
Tier 2 Migrants applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 6 April 2023 will need to earn a minimum salary of £38,800, and this will increase to £40,100 for those applying after 6 April 2024.
The Home Office has updated the Codes of Practice in some cases increasing the minimum salary thresholds.
The Home Office has also increased its fees for the coming year, with effect from 29 March 2019. Happily there is a freeze on application fees for Tier 2 applications although individuals choosing to use the Super Priority Service from within the UK to expedite their application can expect to pay an additional £190 per person. Whilst not ground-breaking, the changes are likely to be welcomed by UK universities, and Tier 2 Sponsors will appreciate greater transparency of the Quota system and the partial application fee freeze!