New Restrictive Immigration Rules take Effect

Changes to immigration rules have come into force making it harder for companies to hire workers from abroad.
The government announced the changes at the beginning of the month – which apply to applications made after November.

The 70-page document includes changes such as increasing the salary threshold for Tier 2 workers to £25,000 and the intra-company salary threshold for Tier 2 short term staff has been increased to £30,000.

The graduate trainee salary has been reduced to £23,000 under Tier 2 visas and the number of places per company per year has been increased to 20.

Government documents stated that intra-company transfers will be liable for a health surcharge, but the date is yet to be announced.

Those applying to extend their stay after two-and-a-half years in the UK on a 5-year route to settlement will be required to pass an English language test. The test will be a new requirement for non-EEA partners and parents whose current leave under family immigration rules is due to expire by May next year.

Where Tier 4 visas apply changes have been made to the academic progression rule, maintenance requirements for the Doctorate Extension Scheme and evidence of overseas qualifications.

Many businesses and business leaders have expressed concern about whether they can remain in the UK if employing overseas workers becomes difficult.

Back in September Mayor of London Sadiq Khan requested the capital had its own immigration system amid concerns new immigration rules for the UK would greatly affect businesses in the UK capital.

He said he wanted the world to know that London was open adding: “In principle I want to make sure that my job as the mayor means supporting businesses to grow and expand, encouraging business to come into London.”

However, two months later, the request was shot down by government with UK Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill stating a single policy should be implemented across the country.

He added: “Applying different immigration rules to different parts of the UK would complicate the immigration system, harming its integrity and cause difficulties for employers with a presence in more than one part of the UK.”

Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is for general information only, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional for advice regarding their particular circumstances.
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