Migration Advisory Committee review of Tier 2 work visas

On 19 January 2016 the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)  released its review of the Tier 2 skilled workers visa route by recommending higher salary thresholds to attract higher value skilled migrants to the UK for work purposes.

In its report, the MAC recommended:

  • The minimum salary threshold should rise to £30,000 to reflect the current degree-level skill requirement for Tier 2. As the typical pay of migrants in some occupations, such as healthcare and teaching, is below the new proposed threshold the MAC recommends this new minimum is phased in.
  • An Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) should be introduced, to act as a skills levy on firms using migrant labour. The revenue accumulated from the charge could be used to help raise skills in the domestic jobs market through training, and decrease the demand for migrant labour.
  • That use of the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) route for third-party contracting be moved into a separate route and a higher salary threshold at £41,500 be applied.
  • There should be no automatic sunsetting of jobs on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), but employers should provide sufficient evidence when an occupation has been on the list for a number of years.
  •  They do not recommend that Tier 2 (General) is restricted only to occupations on an expanded shortage occupation list.
  • They do not recommend restricting automatic work rights for dependents.

For more details please refer to the articles on our site.