The new rules have introduced a number of significant changes that employers need to consider.
These new Immigration Rules (HC 1919) make various amendments to Tier 2, including:
- updating the appropriate salary rates in Appendix J – the new rates will apply where the Certificate of Sponsorship is assigned on or after 30 March 2019
- confirming that due to expected wage inflation, the minimum earnings threshold will be £38,800 for indefinite leave to remain applications made from 6 April 2023 and £40,100 from 6 April 2024
- replacing the current salary bands for awarding points under the Tier 2 (General) cap so that one point will be scored for each extra £1,000 of gross salary – this will apply from 30 March 2019 and will increase the number of applications that can be awarded in each monthly allocation
- extending the exemption from the £30,000 minimum salary threshold for nurses, medical radiographers, paramedics and secondary school teachers in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science and Mandarin until the introduction of the post-Brexit immigration system
The main point employers will need to ensure is that the proposed salary for jobs for which a Certificate of Sponsorship is assigned from 30 March meets the updated rates, and that the new rates are also met for any applications for indefinite leave to remain submitted from the same date.
Other notable changes include:
- the introduction of new Start-up and Innovator categories, which replace the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Entrepreneur categories from 29 March 2019
- tightening up the requirements for Tier 1 (Investor) applications from 29 March 2019, and
- changes to facilitate the full roll-out of the EU Settlement Scheme from 30 March 2019