The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended the Government uses higher salary thresholds to prioritise higher value, skilled migrants within the Tier 2 visa route.
The MAC was commissioned by the Government to advise on a number of potential changes to Tier 2 to address concerns about the rising number of migrants in that route and reliance on them to fill shortages in the labour market.
Here are recommendations by MAC:
- Raising the overall minimum salary threshold from the current £20,800 to £30,000
- Suggests a phased increase in the salary thresholds for public sector migrants
- A lower threshold of £23,000, should be offered to graduates
- An Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) should be introduced – the MAC suggests that an upfront charge of £1,000 per year for each Tier 2 migrant employed by companies in the UK and this charge should be in addition to raising salary thresholds and paid by employers
- That use of the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) route for third-party contracting be moved into a separate route and to apply a higher salary threshold of £41,500
- There should be no automatic sun-setting of jobs on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), but employers should provide sufficient evidence when an occupation has been on the list for a number of years
- They do not recommend that Tier 2 (General) is restricted only to occupations on an expanded shortage occupation list
- They do not recommend restricting automatic work rights for dependents
The Government will now formally consider the MAC recommendations and implement any changes through the Immigration Rules in the next few months.