Summary of Tier 2 Visa changes

April 2017 saw the advent of some changes in the tier 2 visa scheme with migrants now needing to earn a minimum of £30,000 per year. Though the good news for those presently on the scheme is that they will still be governed by the previous figure of £20,800 for those here before November 2016.

The changes are inline with the government’s attempts to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands. The move is an attempt to bring in only those who can command a higher wage in the UK. The lower limit of £20,800 will also remain in force for those with specific skills that are in high demand such as those in the medical arena.

In addition to these changes, there has been a charge introduced by the government as an immigration skills charge. Which will require sponsors to pay a charge of £1,000 per year per sponsorship. This can be reduced for certain sectors.

There have also been changes in mostly public sectors for the requirement of criminal record certificates from their country of origin. Currently, this is limited to a few sectors, but it is planned to be rolled out on a greater level.

These changes reflect the Conservative government’s ideas in reducing inward migration. Overall there is a big push for companies to consider British staff first, though this is not a published goal. It is intended to stem the flow of general migration and to push for more skilled orientated migration into the country.

The long term effects are unclear, but it certainly seems that the government has set out a direction in the way it wishes to proceed with migration. Though with the potential loss of large swathes of European migration, these new rules are likely to be loosened in the long term. Though they may prove to be a necessary short term buffer to counteract the effects of those who relocate to the UK from inside the EU in the last few years before the UK leaves the EU.

Certainly, it seems that the rules will stay more relaxed for those with a medical background, as the UK tries to bolster its NHS staffing issues. These shortages are due to a lack of trained staff in the UK, and a slow down of would be applicants from inside the EU. The current turbulence in the negotiations of the UK’s exit from the EU means that many are loathed to try and start a new life in the UK when they may in the near future lose their right to remain in the county. This does muddy the waters for future inward migration. Though as the negotiations press on in Brussels, the picture should become clearer as to the UK’s future and whether it will remain as a viable proposition for would be migrants.

Reiss Edwards can help with a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence and Tier 2 Visa if you are looking to make an application. We can also assist you should you be looking for advice on how to remain compliant. Please call one of our immigration solicitors today on 020 3744 2797 or send us an email on


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