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Contracting Blog

Changes to UK skilled workers Visa

18/08/2017

We reported in September 2016 on the subject of the difficulties Businesses in the UK were experiencing recruiting skilled workers due to the Tier 2 visa programme having reached its cap.  However after a comprehensive review the minimum salary for experienced workers applying for this visa is to be increased and there are also plans for increased compliance visits.  This certainly does not help British businesses who are facing a skills shortage.
From the 24 November 2016 the minimum salary requirements have increased from £24,000 to £30,000 per annum for short term intra-company transfers, and from £20,800 to £25,000 per annum for experience workers, which increased again to £30,000 in April 2017.
The Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) ‘Skills Transfer’ sub-category is being closed to new applicants.  
The sub category for ‘Graduate Trainee’ is the only one seeing real attempts to increase applicants with a decrease in annual salary and employers no longer being limited to five per year having been increased to twenty.  Graduate Trainees will also be exempted from the Resident Labour Market Test.
Whilst the Tier 2 program currently allows UK companies to sponsor non-EEA nationals for skilled positions in the UK there is much debate over what changes will be introduced with regards to employing EU and EEA workers post Brexit making the area somewhat precarious.  Despite the fact that the increase in salary might make the UK more appealing to foreign skilled workers it may limit businesses hoping to benefit from hiring abroad and therefore could stint growth in certain areas in the foreseeable future.
 



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