Tier 2 ICT Terms Improved
The terms of the Tier 2 Inter Company Transfer (ICT) visa were subject to change this April as a result of the Government’s adoption of most (but not all) of the influential Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) report on the state of UK migration. The overall tenor of the MAC report, reflecting the demands of the Conservative government, was to restrict numbers of migrants to the UK. The changes made to the Tier 2 visa terms, including ICT can be seen to be largely consistent with that policy direction. However, reflecting the fact that in certain key sectors the UK economy is highly dependent on non-UK labour several changes were what might be seen as positive in their loosening of the terms of employment. For anyone contemplating recruiting on this basis this is good news.
Specific changes to the ICT visa category saw the minimum salary requirement set at £41,500 for all sub-groupings. Over and above the political thrust of the overall MAC report the changes represented a wholly practical effort to simply and streamline a system that had become unnecessarily complex. On that basis, the Tier 2 (skills transfer) option is set to close this autumn whilst the (ICT short terms staff) category will cease to apply from April 2017.
Reflecting the requirement not to close off UK companies’ access to much needed skilled labour the ICT (Graduate Trainees) minimum salary threshold is to be reduced from £24,000 to £23,000 and the number of new trainees that a new sponsor may employ is to be increased from five to 20. Simultaneously, the threshold for high earning ICT workers entitled to work in the UK between five and nine years is being reduced from £155,300 to £120,000. The requirement for one year’s stay at their overseas employer is to be removed for those migrants whose UK salary will exceed £73,900.
Clearly, the headline political requirement to be ‘tough on immigration’ is in tension with the requirement to recruit the ‘brightest and the best’ of the world’s personnel. The detail of the MAC report shows how that tension is being dealt with in practice.
YDVISAS specialise in all visa categories and are specialist immigration lawyers in the UK. Please contact the expert team at YDVISAS, should you need any professional help with your visa application.