March 19, 2014

In the past 2 months various changes to British Immigration Rules have been announced and approved: on February 3 the then Minister of Immigration, Mark Harper, announced a set of new fees to be implemented on April 6, 2014, for which corrections were submitted on February 24 by the new Minister for Immigration and Security, James Brokenshire.  The latter announced further changes to the Points Based System on March 13, 2014, most of which will also come into effect on April 6, 2014.

Changes to Fees
As for most other types of visas and services, the fees for the Entry Clearance Visas (ECVs) issued under the Point Based System will increase with 4%, with the notable exception of a sharp decrease with -13.4% of the fee for TIER 2 – Shortage Occupations for up to 3 years for main applicant and all dependents .

Visa Validity
The most important change to the Points Based System for Pro-Link GLOBAL’s clients is the increase of the period for which Tier 2 visas can be obtained: as of April 6, 2014 applicants for a Certificate of Sponsorship and Entry Clearance Visa for TIER 2 (ICT) -Long Term Staff and TIER 2 (General) can opt to apply for a 5 year duration immediately, instead of the current initial maximum of 3 years plus a 2 years extension.

Salary and Maintenance Requirements
Other changes to the TIER 2 category include an increase with 0.8 – 1 %. of the minimum salary requirements to qualify for the various types of TIER 2 visas with their various restrictions, and an increase of the level of required maintenance funds with 5%. This last change will only come into effect on July 1, 2014.