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UK's New Immigration Rules to Take Effect from June 14, 2012


Sunnyvale, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/18/2012 -- UK has introduced changes to its immigration rules which would affect foreign nationals residing or entering the UK on employer-sponsored visas as well as the employers. The changes are based on the observations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and will be effective from June 14, 2012.

Tier 2 Changes to UK Immigration Rules:

Changes for foreign nationals residing or entering in the UK sponsored by A-rated employers:

- The level of skills eligibility criteria for National Qualifications Framework (NQF) has been increased to 6 for those applying under Tier 2. The level for sponsored permission which is at graduate level and above will not change, but there would be an increase in the NQF level which might result in the removal of some middle management. Foreign nationals in the UK or those who are extending their current permission are not required to comply with the new requirement.

- With the introduction of Premium Customer Service for Sponsors, eligible sponsors can have certain privileges – access to Public Enquiry Office and premium sponsor support team.

- The General restriction quota is set at 20,700 for following two years.

- Advertising requirements for premium or Ph.D. level jobs on JobCentre Plus has been ruled out effective June 14, 2012. However, it is mandatory to advertise for twenty eight calendar days in the prescribed medium for the job code.

- The tenure of temporary leave for Tier 2 General has been extended to a maximum of 6 years. After completing 6 years in the UK, the foreign national has to either qualify and apply for settlement or quit the country.

- To stop repetition of applications to remain under Tier 2, Individuals who are switching into Tier 2 General would be subject to maximum of six years of cumulative stay.

- The salary limit to qualify for ‘indefinite leave to remain’ (ILR) is set at £35,000 per annum or the minimum salary under standard occupational classification (SOC) code, whichever is higher, effective for individual those who apply after April 6, 2016.

- With the end of Tier 1 Post Study Worker category, Tier 2 General Unrestricted (Graduates) came into force from April 6, 2012. The “resident labor market test” (RLMT) is no more required and it is not necessary to request the quota. Nevertheless, any job offer has to comply with the minimum salary requirement with the applicant having a degree in the UK.

Changes to UK Immigration policy affecting Employers:

- Under ‘permitted paid engagements’ (a new business visitor category covering specified specialist activities) permission under the point based system is not required if the stay does not go past one month.

- For foreign nationals who reside in the UK more than six months, Biometric Residence Cards are mandatory.

- A new Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs category has been introduced enabling ‘highly trusted’ sponsors to nominate eligible graduates to remain in the UK.

- Domestic workers who reside in a diplomatic household can stay as long as their employers stay which is limited to a maximum of five years. They can neither switch employers nor qualify for ILR.

- Immigration option for Domestic workers in a public household has been made very restrictive. They can reside for a maximum of six months when accompanying a visitor. They can neither extend the staying limit nor qualify for ILR. Also, dependent category that comes under this section has been eliminated for domestic workers.

UK Immigration: Changes to Tier 5 Rules
- Contractual service suppliers under GATS who are not eligible under Tier 2 can only be allowed to enter and reside in the UK for a maximum period of six months.

- Government Authorised Exchange is limited to 12 months instead of 24 months except for the activities that are considered under fellowship or research provisions.

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