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Stevens Machi Solicitors

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Government Announces Changes to Immigration Rules

The Government has announced a series of changes to the Immigration Rules, many of which will have an impact on applications made on or after 24th November this year.

The main changes include implementing the first of two phases of changes to Tier 2, announced by the Government in March following a review by the Independent Migration Advisory Committee:

  • Increasing the Tier 2 (General) salary threshold for experienced workers to £25,000, with some exemptions.
  • Increasing the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) salary threshold for short term staff to £30,000.
  • Reducing the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) graduate trainee salary threshold to £23,000 and increasing the number of places to 20 per company per year.
  • Closing the Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) skills transfer sub-category.


These changes will come into effect for all certificates of sponsorship assigned by Tier 2 sponsors on or after 24th November 2016. The date from which intra company transfers will be liable for the health surcharge will apparently be announced at a later date.

Other changes include:

  • Changes to the Tier 4 route, including amendments to the academic progression rule, maintenance requirements for the Doctorate Extension Scheme and evidence of overseas qualifications and UK qualifications used as evidence.
  • As announced in January this year, a new English language requirement at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is being introduced for non-EEA partners and parents.


This language requirement affects those applying to extend their stay after 2.5 years in the UK on a 5-year route to settlement under Appendix FM (Family Member) of the Immigration Rules. The new requirement will apply to partners and parents whose current leave under the family Immigration Rules is due to expire on or after 1st May 2017.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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