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New Priority Service for Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsors

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New Priority Service for Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsors

At last there is some good news from UKVI. The Home Office has confirmed that a new priority service for Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors of migrant workers is available from 7 November 2016 at a cost of £200 per request. The new service is only available to A-rated Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors who can now make expedited applications for the following services: - requesting additional in-year allocations (so called unrestricted certificates of sponsorship); - adding a new level 1 user to the sponsor management system; - replacing the authorising officer. The current service standard is 18 weeks (just over four months) and the new priority service will offer a welcome speed up to the habitual unhurried tempo of the Home Office. Priority requests will be considered within five business days.

Q&A

I run an IT consultancy business which sponsors Tier 2 migrants and I am concerned about changes to the Immigration Rules coming into effect on 6 November 2014. My employees are often supplied to clients on a contract basis and spend a significant amount of time working on client premises. Is this allowed under the new regulations?

The Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules published on 16 October 2014 only affects new Tier 2 visa applicants who will not be get any points for certificates of sponsorship issued for a migrant who would be providing an ongoing routine service to a third party. These rules coming into effect on 6 November 2014 are intended to prevent a Tier 2 sponsor from acting as an agency supplying contract staff to third parties.  Similar provisions were in the Employer Guidance document before the announcement of changes in the immigration rules. There is no specific mention of seconding Tier 2 employees to a third party location. Yet, the Guidance also contains a vaguely worded restriction on “ongoing routine services” to a third party. In other words, there is no blanket prohibition, but each scenario has to be addressed on a case by case basis.  Your position as a Tier 2 sponsorship licence holder may be affected if you are in breach of the rules laid down in the guidance. And this may in turn affect your current staff with Tier 2 General visa. We strongly recommend seeking professional legal advice in order to discuss the arrangements in more detail and ensure you are compliant.

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Q&A

I am studying at a UK university under the Tier 4 (General) visa and am due to graduate at the end of this academic year. I have found an employer who is willing to sponsor me at the “new entrant” salary rate after I graduate, but I am over 26 years of age. Am I correct in thinking that I can switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa and still work as a “new entrant”?

Unfortunately, there is a discrepancy between the Policy Guidance document for Tier 2 sponsors and the Immigration Rules on this point. The Tier 2 sponsor’s guidance document says at paragraph 26(2)(f) that you can be paid the new entrant rate regardless of age if you are switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2 (General), as long as your studies have lead to the award of the required qualification. However, paragraph 14 (d) of Appendix J of the Immigration Rules, which specifies applicability of the new entrant salary rate, only provides for Tier 4 General migrants switching into Tier 2 General category where their Sponsor had carried out a university milkround or where the migrant is under the age of 26 on the date of the application. In principle, the Guidance document should prevail. But there is a risk of litigation on this point.

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Q&A

I have been employed under the Tier 2 (General) category for just over a year since my graduation from a University in the UK. I would now like to change employers and wanted to know if I could apply to extend my visa as a “new entrant” despite the fact that some time has passed since I graduated.

You may extend your Tier 2 (General) visa at the “new entrant” salary rate while changing employers if you are under 26 years of age on the date of your application for extension and as long as the extension would not take your total stay under Tier 2 to more than 3 years and 1 month. Therefore, the date of termination of your contract specified by your new employer on the Certificate of Sponsorship should be less than 3 years and 1 month from the date you were first granted your Tier 2 (General) visa.

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Q&A

I am working in the IT sector on Tier 2 Intra-company transfer visa. Is it possible for me to switch to the Tier 2 (General) visa category?

There are two conditions under which it is possible to make this switch.  The first is if your Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer) visa was issued under the rules in place before 6 April 2010 and you are applying to change sponsor.  Secondly, you may switch if you are applying to change sponsor and were granted the now obsolete Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer: Established staff) visa before 6 April 2011.  If your current visa was issued after 6 April 2011 you will not qualify to switch to Tier 2 (General) visa.

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Ancestry visa

Ancestry visa is granted to citizens of Commonwealth countries who have a grandparent born in the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and who wish to come to the UK to work. Applicants may be 17 years of age and over. Where to apply? Initial application for ancestry visa has to be made from abroad, either from the country of origin or another country of residence. Switching into this category from within the UK is not allowed. General requirements Applicants need to demonstrate that they are able to work and intend to take or seek employment.  They may bring with them

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Work related route to settlement

If you are planning to apply for a visa which would allow you to work in the UK and eventually settling in the UK as a permanent resident, there is a small number of options for you to consider. The most straightforward way of getting permission to work, is finding an employer who is willing to sponsor you. You may then relocated to the UK under the Tier 2 General route. Tier 2 (General) visa This is an option for professional people doing highly skilled jobs (normally NQF level 6). Low skilled jobs are not supported by this route. Highly skilled jobs cover a range

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Changes for Tier 2 migrants

Minimum salary increase for Tier 2 General Migrants From 6 April 2017 minimum salary threshold for Tier 2 General migrants has been increased to £30,000 per year. The threshold of £20,800 will continue to apply for applicants for extension of stay who were initially granted leave to enter or remain with a CoS (certificate of sponsorship) assigned before 24 November 2016 (when the previous set of changes was introduced). They would have to be paid in accordance with the appropriate rate for their job as stated in the codes of practice in Appendix J of the Immigration Rules. Minimum salary

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Tier 2 (General)

We assist Tier 2 migrants with visa applications, applications for extension of stay and indefinite leave to remain.  For urgent applications we offer same day service to the Public Enquiry Office in Croydon for express consideration. We also work with Tier 2 sponsors and offer help with applications for sponsorship licence, issuing sponsorship certificates, HR training, and UKBA compliance procedures. Tier 2 (General) is the route for skilled workers who have received a job offer from a UK based registered employer. From 6 April 2011, this route has been “capped” for new entrants: only 20,700 new migrants will be allocated certificates

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Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa

General Overview of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Route Applying as an Entrepreneurial Team Who can rely on £50,000 investment funds? DIT endorsed seed fund completion for overseas entrepreneurs Who can switch to this category in the UK Restrictions on Switching Maintenance Requirements Do the funds have to be in the UK? Third party funding General Overview of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Route The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category of the Point Based System is for those who wish to set up, join in or take over a business in the UK and be actively involved in running this business. Entrepreneurs are

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