The Home Office has issued a message through the online sponsorship management system that minimum salary rates under the SOC Code for Medical Practitioners, 2211, have been incorrectly stated as being based on a 39 rather than 40 hour working week. This has resulted in Tier 2 applications being refused because individuals do not meet the minimum salary requirement.

SOC Code 2211 covers work as a doctor including anaesthetist, consultant, doctor, general practitioner, medical practitioner, paediatrician, psychiatrist, radiologist and surgeon. The minimum salaries stated for these roles come from the NHS Employers Medical and Dental Pay Circular 2012. However, the pay rates in this document are premised on doctors working at least 40 hours per week.

The Home Office’s problem has arisen because the minimum pay levels for the SOC Codes are generally based on working 39 hours per week. Where a sponsored migrant has contracted hours of more than 39 hours per week, the minimum required pay needs to be prorated upwards. This has meant that doctors’ minimum salaries have needed to be 2.56% higher.

The Home Office has said that it will amend the Immigration Rules to correct this mistake as soon as it can. In the meantime, applications will be considered on the basis that salary rates under SOC Code 2211 are based on a 40 hour week. The Home Office has also said that migrants whose applications have been refused because of this error can apply to have their case reconsidered.