Increased funds required for UK Tier 2 visa applicants from 14 June 2012

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) announced that they will increase the funds required to satisfy the maintenance requirement for Tier 2 visas applicants. The changes go into effect from 14 June 2012.

This follows a written ministerial statement from 15 March 2012 that outlines a number of changes to the Immigration Rules, including the closure of the Tier 1 Post Study Work route on 6 April 2012. The following changes will be made to the maintenance requirement for Tier 2 visa applicants:
  • Tier 2 Visa Applicants: Increased from £800 to £900
  • Dependents of Tier 2 applicants who have been in the UK for less than 12 months: Increased from £1,600 to £1,800
  • Dependents of Tier 2 applicants - all other applications: Increased from £533 to £600
If you plan to make a Tier 2 visa application on or after 14 June 2012, you must ensure that you have the correct funds held in your account as soon as possible. The funds will need to be held in your bank or savings account for a 90 day period prior to the date of your visa application. For this reason, the UKBA has delayed the implementation date until 14 June to allow immigrants sufficient time to hold these funds for 90 days, prior to submitting a visa application.

The UKBA has stated that these increases are in line with cost of living rises in the UK.

Other Tier 2 changes that will go into effect 6 April 2012 include:
  • Introducing a new minimum salary requirement of £35,000 for Tier 2 general and sportsperson migrants who wish to settle here (indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence) from April 2016 (with exemptions for those in PhD level and shortage occupation categories).
  • Introducing a 'cooling-off period' across all the Tier 2 routes. Tier 2 migrants will need to wait for 12 months from the expiration of their previous visa before they may apply for a further Tier 2 visa. Although, it is important to note that many Tier 2 visa holders can still apply for indefinite leave to remain if they meet all of the requirements including showing that they meet the new minimum pay requirement of £35,000.
  • Introducing new post-study arrangements for graduates switching into Tier 2.
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