• Advisory Committee Proposes Tier 2 Minimization
  • August 18, 2015
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published a second consultation document seeking advice regarding reducing Tier 2 migration and reliance on migrants to fill local employment shortages. This follows last month’s consultation document on increasing the minimum salary for Tier 2 workers. The deadline for public responses to this consultation document is September 25, 2015.

    The MAC has been asked to fundamentally review how Tier 2 works in all sectors, including the following issues:
    • Restricting Tier 2 (General) recruitment to genuine skills shortages and highly-specialized experts only;
    • Whether criteria such as salaries, points for particular attributes, economic need and skills level should be used to define those skills shortages;
    • Whether the above criteria could be applied to intracompany transferees;
    • Whether the above criteria should capture those switching from student visas to Tier 2;
    • Limiting the amount of time an occupation can remain on the shortage occupation list;
    • The impact of preventing Tier 2 dependent visa holders from working in the UK;
    • A skills tax for employers recruiting non-EU workers under the Tier 2 category, and possibly other categories; and
    • Whether to extend the immigration health tax to intracompany transferees.
    The Home Office has asked the MAC to pay particular attention to companies that outsource contracts to third parties.

    The MAC’s report to the Home Secretary is likely to be published in December 2015 or early in 2016. New immigration rules are likely to take effect in April 2016.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Tier 2 could be significantly restricted if the suggestions in the MAC’s consultation document are adopted.

    Fragomen will communicate clients’ interests and concerns to the government and the MAC during the MAC consultation, but employers are urged to respond to the consultation individually. Fragomen can help employers compose or refine their response to the consultation.