• Tier 2 Visa Applications Now Subject to Genuineness Test
  • October 31, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • An additional preliminary assessment step will apply to certain Tier 2 visa applications, to confirm that a genuine vacancy exists in a sponsoring company, pursuant to new rules that will be implemented in November.

    The genuineness evaluation will not apply to all Tier 2 visa applications but will target those cases where the Home Office has doubts about a vacancy. The Home Office has not yet announced factors considered to determine if the genuineness assessment is necessary.

    Tier 2 visa applications can now be denied where there are reasonable grounds to believe that:

    • The job does not genuinely exist;
    • The job has been exaggerated to meet the skills threshold;
    • The applicant is not qualified to do the job; or
    • The job has been tailored to exclude UK workers.

    Tier 2 visas are open to skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland who have a UK sponsoring employer.

    Ban on Hours and Salary Reductions

    UK companies may no longer reduce sponsored employees’ hours or lower their salary below £20,500 for the purposes of decreasing operating costs and reducing layoffs. The provision allowing such reductions was introduced in 2009 in response to the economic downturn.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Employers sponsoring Tier 2 visa applications in the UK may face an additional genuineness review and potential delays in processing times as the new assessment is incorporated into visa application processing.