Important reforms to immigration rules
31 May 2012
The Government has recently announced further reforms to immigration rules with effect from 14 June 2012.
Further information about the changes is available on the immigration pages on the HR website.
These are welcome changes which should assist us to continue to attract and retain excellent staff from all over the world. We were able to support these changes through submissions to the UK Border Agency which included some very compelling evidence from our own staff. Many thanks to those who participated.
Nigel Waugh, Director of Human Resources
Advertising and Sponsorship
- From 14 June 2012 the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) will be liberalised for PhD level jobs and vacancies over £70k, including a removal of the requirement to advertise in JobCentre Plus. (The Home Office define PhD level jobs as the following job titles: Research and Development Managers; Chemists; Biological Scientists and BioChemists; Physicists; Geologists and Meteoroligists; Higher Education Teaching Professionals; Scientific Researchers; Social Science Researchers; Researchers not elsewhere classified.)
- The RLMT will be removed for graduates (Tier 4 Students) who have been awarded their qualification by a Higher Education Institution licensed by the UK Border Agency. Students must have current leave to remain on their visa and be applying from within the UK.
- To be eligible for a certificate of sponsorship the post must be at National Qualification Framework (NQF) Level 6 or on the Shortage Occupation List.
- The annual national limit of restricted certificates of sponsorship remains at 20,700 for the next two years.
Further and Indefinite Leave to remain
- Workers who entered through Tier 2 after 6 April 2011 will now be granted three years leave to enter followed by a further three years leave to remain.
They will be able to apply for ILR after five years. ILR will only be available to those who:
- pass the Knowledge of Life in the UK Test;
- have a clean criminal record;
- have not been out of the UK for more than 180 days in the five years immediately prior to the application (there is limited discretion available for longer absences); and
- are paid at least the going rate for the job.
- Those who enter the UK in Tier 2 after 6 April 2011 will additionally need to be paid at least £35,000 in order to settle. However, this requirement will not apply to those in PhD level jobs or those who worked in a shortage occupation at any point during their stay.
- If they have not been granted settlement after six years they will need to leave the UK and a cooling off period will prevent re-entry in any Tier 2 category for a period of 12 months. This includes where they have failed the absence requirements.
- No applicant will be able to re-apply to return to the UK under Tier 2 until 12 months after the last leave under Tier 2 expired - even if the previous CoS was for less than 6 years - or the person left their job early.
Permitted paid engagements
A new visitor category has been introduced that will allow some a small number of workers, including academics and examiners, to work in the UK for up to a month without sponsorship.
Fiona Daffern, Head of Employment Policy Development, Human Resources