All Points originally reported that the UK Government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) had met and made recommendations to immigration changes that would affect the Tier 2 visa category in 2016. The changes are in and they do make things harder for those with global mobility of intra-company transfers, although are not as bad as they could have been.
What is the Tier 2 Visa Route?
Tier 2 is the foremost path taken by expatriates to go to the UK and is the route to take for the large majority of intra-company transfers.
The UK Government has gone along with the MAC’s recommendation to increase the salary threshold to 41,500 GBP for all intra-company transfers (with the exception of graduate trainees).
The Home Office will also require all assignees to pay the immigration health surcharge.
There is good news.
The MAC had recommended increasing the time that an intra-company transfer had to work for their company from one year to two years, and the UK Government declined to implement this recommendation. The one year experience requirement for transferees paid more than 73,900 GBP will be removed.
With all assignees paying into the Immigration Health Surcharge, costs on assignees are going to increase marginally, so Human Resources may want to make others aware of this increased cost, in addition to the increased filing fees that went into place in March, 2016. However, the big change will be if you have intra-company expatriates that would be paid less than 41,500 GBP. Your company could switch to using the Tier 2 General scheme, as a result.
We should not underestimate the good news from the government changes however, which is the fact that the requirement that employees in the ICT Tier 2 category work for one year has NOT increased to two years.
This article does not discuss other changes that were made by the government that do not directly or negatively impact intra-company transfers. Please feel free to call All Points if you have any questions.