From the 06 April 2011 the Immigration Cap for Non-European Union nationals is in force. This will apply for all migrants applying to work in the UK.
Annual Limit for Tier 2 (General)
All Tier 2 (General) applications will be subject to the annual immigration cap. There is now a limit of 20,700 places from April 2011 to March 2012 for this immigration route.
There will be 4,200 Certificates Of Sponsorship for April 2011. The following limit will be set at 1,500 per month. All unused places will role over to the following month.
Sponsors will acquire Certificates Of Sponsorship from a monthly request panel. These will be known as restricted Certificates Of Sponsorship. Applications will be reviewed on whether;
- they are shortage occupations
- the position requires higher academic qualifications
- if the salary meets the requirements
Tier 2 (General) applications will be restricted to graduate-level vacancies. The Migration Advisory Committee will advise us on what are to be considered graduate-level jobs, and we will amend the shortage occupation list accordingly. Existing Tier 2 (General) migrants in jobs below graduate level will be able to extend their permission to stay if they meet current requirements.
The following applications are not affected by the annual limit and will be known as unrestricted Certificates Of Sponsorship;
- in-country applications from those already in the UK;
- dependants of Tier 2 migrants;
- Tier 2 (General) applicants who are filling a vacancy with a salary of more than £150,000;
- Tier 2 (Sportsperson) applicants;
- Tier 2 (Minister of religion) applicants; and
- Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) applicants.
The Intra Company Transfer route (Intra Company Transfer) will have the following changes;
- the job will have to be on the graduate occupation list
- migrants who are paid £40,000 or more will be eligible to stay 3 years, with a possible further 2 year extension.
- migrants paid between £24,000 and £40,000 will be allowed to come to the UK for no longer than 12 months, at which point they must leave the UK and will not be able to re-apply for 12 months.
Any certificates of sponsorship granted for potential employees will be valid for a period of 3 months.
New English Language requirement
From 06 April 2011 the English Language requirement for Tier 2 (General) applicants have been increased from basic to intermediate level. The applicant must achieve a level of English equivalent to level B1 of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework for Language learning.
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) English language requirements will stay unchanged.
Source: UK Border Agency