• Efforts to Reduce Non-EU Immigration and Increase Minimum Salary Threshold Announced
  • August 18, 2015
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Further to Prime Minister Cameron’s speech outlining stricter immigration plans, the Prime Minister announced last week that the Home Secretary has instructed the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on reducing the volume of work migrants from outside the EU while allowing skilled foreign nationals to work in the UK.

    In considering how to significantly reduce non-EEA economic migration, the MAC will advise the Home Office by the end of the year on the following issues:
    • Restricting work visas to genuine skills shortages and highly-specialized experts;
    • Implementing a time limit on how long a sector can claim to have a skills shortage;
    • Imposing a new skills levy on Tier 2 visas to boost funding to UK apprenticeships; and
    • Raising salary thresholds to prevent businesses from using foreign workers to undercut wages.
    Most of the MAC’s work is expected to be completed by the end of the year, but the Home Secretary has asked it to fast track proposals on raising the salary thresholds of Tier 2 visas in time for the immigration rule changes, usually scheduled for October 6.

    Proposed Immigration Law

    A draft bill that includes measures to restrict illegal immigration, such as stricter housing regulations for immigrants and criminalizing work for those without an appropriate work permit, is expected to be introduced to Parliament next month. Fragomen will report on the details when they are released.

    What This Means for Foreign Nationals

    Global mobility experts and administrative departments should stay informed of the proposed changes, especially as they relate to stricter housing requirements and higher salary thresholds, as such changes may require internal company policy amendments.