The permanent cap affecting skilled immigration which the UK is implementing in April 2011 is causing a lot of controversy and consternation among immigrants and businesses alike. But while Tier 1 (General) is in effect being abolished and will in future only apply to 'exceptionally talented' people (with an annual cap of 1000), Tier 2 visas will actually see an increase in its quota to 20,700 visas; This is a significant increase over the current interim immigration cap.
Moreover, this limit will not apply to the following groups of people seeking Tier 2 visas:
- in-country applications from people already in the UK
- dependants of Tier 2 migrants
- Tier 2 (General) applicants who are filling a vacancy with a salaryabove £150,000
- Tier 2 (Sportsperson) applicants
- Tier 2 (Minister of religion) applicants
- Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer) applicants
People who fall under the above categories will not come under the immigration cap.
A limiting factor to the new Tier 2 visa rules is the requirement that Tier 2 (General) applicants be limited to graduate level job vacancies when the new rules are put in place next year.
In addition, the intra-company transfer route, while not subject to the cap, will have some new limitations put in place. Intra-company transfer applicants with salaries above £40,000 will be able to stay in the UK for up to five years, while applicants with salaries between £24,000 and £40,000 will only be able to stay in the UK for up to 12 months at a time.
It's clear that the UK is focusing its attention on migrants who already have a bonafide job offer from a UK employer. For people who wish to immigrate to the UK based upon their skills and experience alone, now is the time to apply under Tier 1 (General) before the UK closes the door on this popular immigration scheme.
For more information on immigrating to the UK, fill out an assessment form or phone one of our offices directly. Applications submitted before April 2011 will be considered under the current rules in place, so hurry now! Tier 1 visas are likely to run out in December 2010 or January 2011.