In Feb 2020 the UK government released a policy statement outlining the future for UK visas. The news was much looked forward to as it would set the tone for the proposed changes in light of Brexit and with the free movement of EU citizens to UK set to cease in Dec 2020. These changes broadly impact the Tier 2 General visa category, create a pathway for post study work visa seekers, enabling Tier 4 students to switch to Tier 2 General, these do not affect non points based visas for representatives of overseas businesses.

New rules set to come into effect from Jan 2021 will be applicable to economic migrants only, rules for family and asylum would remain unaffected. Though it can be reasonably expected that there would be changes to these too in the times to come.

So, what will change?

As stated earlier the key change is the end of freedom of movement for EU nationals, enabling EU nationals to experience the points based system.

The changes to the requirements for UK visas include:

  • reduction in minimum salary requirement to £25,600 from the current £ 30,000 (This will continue to be compared to the ‘going rate’ for that job role & the higher limit will be considered)
  • D holders in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) can take jobs at £20,480 p.a.
  • While non-STEM Ph.D. holders can have a minimum salary of £ 23,040 p.a.
  • Tier 2 occupations will see requisite skill level reduced from a bachelor’s degree to A-level.
  • The resident labour market test used for Tier 2 General will be scrapped
  • Also to go will be the cap on number of visas being issued (presently it is 20,100 visas under Tier 2 General route).

What will remain:

  • UK visa applicants will still be required to demonstrate that they meet the English language requirements
  • Employers will need to be on the Home Office Tier 2 sponsor licence register

These are directional guidelines from the Home Office with more details being made available by the autumn of 2020, for businesses seeking to hire overseas worker it would be a good idea to register for Tier 2 sponsor licence.

To know more about

At The SmartMove2UK (division of SmartMove Immigration) our UK immigration experts have helped businesses in the UK to bring workers from overseas. We have also helped businesses from outside the UK to set up wholly owned branches or subsidiaries in the UK and apply for visas for representatives of overseas business, Tier 2 sponsor licences, Tier 2 general visas, Tier 2 intra company transfers, in addition to Tier 1 Investor visas. You can also speak to our team members.

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