UK: Round Up of Immigration Changes in 2015

2015 saw UK Visas and Immigration dramatically tighten rules relating to Tier 2 sponsorship. In this section, we highlight some of the key changes that took place in the last 12 months:

Tier 2 cap reached and consequences: The Tier 2 restricted CoS cap was reached for the first time, leading to a revision of the salary bands and points available to qualify for a restricted CoS:

Biometric residence permits roll out globally: Applicants applying for a visa for more than 6 months now need to also collect a biometric residence permit on arrival to the UK:

Immigration Health Surcharge: Those coming to the UK for more than 6 months must now also pay an Immigration Health Surcharge alongside their visa application fee:

Tier 2 changes: April 2015 saw an increase in the minimum qualifying salaries under Tier 2 as well as changes to the cooling off period and shortage occupation list:

Updates to compliance duties: Applicable to all Tier 2 sponsors and affects ongoing management of sponsor licences:

Sponsor licence applications: New documentation and information must now be provided when applying for a sponsor licence:

We have also seen the introduction of some parts of the new Immigration Bill, with more expected in 2016: 

Right to rent checks: From 1 February 2016, landlords must also check the immigration status of their tenants or face a fine:

Immigration Bill 2016: further information released about the new Immigration Bill affecting appeals as well as an Immigration Skills Charge:

Finally, a new overseas criminal record certificate requirement was implemented for Tier 1 Investors and Entrepreneurs:

We hope you’ve found this round up of UK changes in 2015 interesting. Should you have any questions, or you would like information on upcoming changes in 2016, please contact us.

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