What’s 2017 got in store for t

What’s 2017 got in store for those interested in UK immigration?

The year 2017 looks to be a year that might come with many immigration changes in the United Kingdom.  In this article, we look ahead at what we might expect, in order to allow our clients to prepare for what might come.

What’s 2017 got in store for t

If future changes could affect you negatively, it is always, of course, a good idea to try and apply for your visa or extension before the changes take effect. And of course, it is a good idea to keep the annual UK Home Office fee increases in mind, as these usually happen in the Spring of each year.

Below are some of the changes to the UK Immigration rules that can be expected and are in the pipeline for 2017.

New English Language Requirement for Non-EEA Partners and Parents

From 1 May 2017, the English Language requirement for non-EEA partners and parents will be changed to Level A2 of the Common European Framework of References for Languages.  This change was announced in November 2016, in order to provide applicants with the time to improve their English language ability to this higher English language requirement.

The new English language requirement will affect all applicants who will be applying to extend their stay after 2.5 years in the UK on the 5-year route to settlement. It will apply to all partners and parents whose current leave under the UK Family Migration rules is due to expire on or after 1 May 2017.

Changes to Tier 2 Immigration Route

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) made some recommendations to the UK Government that are tentatively scheduled for implementation in April 2017:

Introduction of the Immigration Skills Charge

Sponsoring companies of Tier 2 migrants are expected to be levied an immigration skills charge. The MAC recommends that this fee is to be levied as an upfront charge of £1,000 per Tier 2 employee per year.

There are exemptions that include: foreign nationals holding Ph.D. occupations; Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Graduate Trainees; and applicants who are changing their status from a Tier 4 Student to a Tier 2 General Visa.

Small businesses and charities will get relief in the form of a reduced rate of £364 per year.

Minimum Salary Threshold

The second stage of the very controversial minimum salary threshold for Tier 2 Visa holders will be implemented.  The threshold will be increased to £30,000 and it is expected that this increase will take effect in April 2017.

Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Changes

The Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer route for short-term staff will be closed for all new applications.

The minimum annual salary threshold for higher earners in the Tier 2 ICT route (5 – 9-year work authorisations) will be reduced from £155,300 to £120,000.

The minimum annual salary threshold for Tier 2 ICT applications to be exempted from the one-year prior experience requirement, will be reduced to £73,900.

Please note that there might still be changes to the proposed changes and that the above is not an exhaustive list. The UK Government changes the immigration requirements , rules and regulations on a regular basis. We highly recommend that our clients keep in touch with their BIC consultant, to stay up to date with all the latest changes and how it could affect their situation.

If you want to apply for a UK visa, why not arrange a consultation with Breytenbachs and allow us to ease the burden and help you with the application? We offer a professional, friendly and exemplary service that will put your mind at ease and ensure that the application process is smooth and efficient!

www.bic-immigration.com or info@bic-immigration.com