Immigration Update: Annual Tier 2 Limit Announcement

5 April 2012

Please find a corrected version below, now with a link to the documentation relating to Statement of Intent.

Following the recommendations contained in the Migration Advisory Committee’s (“MAC”) report in October 2011, which advised on the 2012-13 annual limit for Tier 2 and associated policies, the government has announced that the Tier 2 General limit will remain at its current level of 20,700 for the next two years, until April 2014. The limit will be divided into twelve equal monthly allocations of 1,725. As the monthly quota was undersubscribed for each month throughout the last year, it is likely that the proposed monthly allocation will be sufficient to meet the recruitment needs of sponsors. The new allocation will be effective as from 6 April.

Relaxation of the Resident Labour Market Test

The government has also followed the MAC’s recommendation to ease the administrative burden on employers when recruiting for roles attracting salaries over £70,000 but less than £150,000 and for PHD-level occupations. With effect from 14 June, for these roles the sponsor will not be required to advertise on Job Centre Plus but will still be required to advertise in a suitable medium, such as an appropriate internet job search site. Roles attracting a salary of £150,000 or more will continue to be exempt from the need to satisfy the Resident Labour Market test.

Skill Level to Rise to NQF 6+

The MAC had also recommended that the skill level required by migrants who wish to work in the UK should increase from the current NQF4+ to NQF6+ and the government has followed this recommendation. Accordingly, with effect from 14 June the graduate occupation list will be amended and several occupations will disappear and sponsors will no longer be able to sponsor migrants for the excluded occupations. For further information, please refer to the Statement of Intent. The list of excluded occupations can be found in Appendix B of this document (please click on the link to view).

For more information, please contact:  Nicolas Rollason

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