Government Goes Ahead On Changes to Tier 2 Visas – Dependants’ Work Rights Left Alone
The working rights of the partners of those coming into the UK on Tier 2 visas have been left unchanged while the minimum salary thresholds have been increased, under a major government commissioned review aimed at reducing immigration numbers.
Tier 2 Visas are given to those people living outside of the EU and Switzerland who have been offered a skilled job in the UK. According to a recent government report there was a 13% increase in skilled work Tier 2 visas granted in the year ending March 2015, compared with the same period during the previous year. The focus was placed on Tier 2 Visas by the government in a bid to reduce economic migration from outside Europe.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) was asked to look at raising Tier 2 salary thresholds to stop UK businesses using foreign workers to undercut wages, according to the government. Since MAC’s recommendations were put forward the minimum salary for Tier 2 general workers has been increased to £25,000 and the minimum salary threshold for Tier 2 intra-company transfer short term visa holders has been increased to £30,000.
MAC also recommended that the working rights of Tier 2 visa dependents should remain the same.
Minister of State for Immigration James Brokenshire said all measures, as proposed by MAC and accepted by the government, will come into force by April 2017.
“As part of the implementation process, we also intend to simplify the Immigration Rules and guidance for skilled workers coming to the United Kingdom, to make the system clearer and more user-friendly for employers and applicants,” he added.