Employers who wish to sponsor people under Tier 2 need to meet several conditions, and one complicated criterion among them is the minimum salary requirement. Business owners have not always found it comfortable dealing with this aspect of the law when they want to embark on employing a Tier 2 visa worker. First, it comes with a lot of differences in the minimum income rates which depends on a lot of things;
- Check how the sponsorship will come – if it is in the category of Tier 2 (General)
- Will it be under Tier 2 ICT (Intra-Company Transfer)?
- Consider if the employee comes as an experienced hand or is new on the job (new entrant)?
- Check the SOC Code (Standard Occupational Classification)
- Consider the number of working hours involved
- There is also ILR ( Indefinite Leave to Remain)
With all these requirements, it will not come as a surprise that many would-be employers consider the process to be rather complicated. Generally, any sponsored employee’s income must be at or higher than either the least income for their SOC Code or the general minimum income according to their peculiar circumstances. However, this is highly dependent on which one is the highest.
A significant margin of error is created by different rules meant for diverse categories of employees and the distinct roles or positions they undertake, holders of sponsor license suffer severe penalties when they get it wrong. This is capable of affecting the legal status of that particular visa holder to take up paid employment in Britain. More importantly, the company or employer will face punitive actions from the Home Office.
To worsen the situation, you will have to consider altering the level of income threshold, which poses a major compliance risk. It is for the authorities to make alterations to exemptions and levels, while the employers have no choice than to ensure that they keep pace.
Tier 2 Minimum Salary: the Meaning
Generally, all PBS employee must receive the appropriate minimum salary or above, to qualify under Tier 2 visa requirements. Here, the pertinent SOC code sets the level of income for any job, which necessitates that the companies or employers should be sure of choosing the right code for the position they want to recruit for.
The essence of the SOC code is that it evaluates the appropriate skill level as well as the matching income level for each particular position. Recommendations are that, if companies fail to find an exact match, they should choose the code which is closest in a match to the particular job description they wish to hire and sponsor an employee for.
The employer can go ahead and allocate the applicable COS (Certificate of Sponsorship) once the relevant SOC Code is chosen. Sponsors will not have the permission to assign the COS if they don’t meet the proper income level.
Minimum Tier 2 Income for both experienced hands and new entrant
- Employees who come as new entrant are likely to receive a lesser Tier 2 minimum income level.
- Employees who are categorized as new entrant must;
- Must be within the United Kingdom and wishes to make a switch or change from Tier 4 (General) – this must be after the completion of their course.
- Must submit applications for leave under the sub-category of Tier 2 (ICT) Graduate Trainee.
- Their age as at the time of submitting their application must fall below 26.
- They only become eligible to submit applications if the entire time they have spent in the United Kingdom together with their Tier 2 status come to three years and a month in the least. Also, they cannot be submitting an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
- Any employee who fails short of these requirements will be considered in the category of experienced workers.
Tier 2 Minimum Income for visa holders under Tier 2 General
Under this route, the applicable levels of salary threshold are two in number:
- For the new entrants, it is £20,800, but there are still specific exceptions
- £30,000 annual income applies to every other position.
An exception is found in a situation where the pertinent SOC code specifies a higher rate; in cases like this, it is the higher rate that will prevail.
Tier 2 Minimum Income for workers who are holders of the ICT visa under the route for Tier 2 General, employees who go on intracompany transfers receive a higher minimum income with the least annual wage pegged at of £41,500. The only exception is when a higher rate is set for experienced employees under the applicable SOC code.
A worker who falls under Tier 2 (ICT) Graduate Trainees must receive above £23,000 annually, or whatever new entrant rate is applicable for the related SOC code.
Tier 2 Minimum Salary: Submitting applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain
There is a new procedure for holders of Tier 2 visa making applications to settle down in Britain via ILR.
Under the category of Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 workers that have held leave for a total of five years are eligible to submit applications for settlement; however, the requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain must be met – this entails a minimum income level. The only people that enjoy exemptions from the least income requirement for ILR are the ones with a position on the Shortage Occupation List as well as skilled to a Ph.D. level.
The Thresholds increase on a yearly basis; they come thus:
- Applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain submitted prior to April 6, 2019: £35,500
- Applications for ILR submitted prior to April 6, 2020: £35,800
- Applications for ILR submitted prior to April 6, 2021: £36,200
- Applications for ILR submitted prior to April 6, 2022: £36,900
- Applications for ILR submitted on or prior to April 6, 2022: £37,900
Alterations made to Tier 2 Visa Minimum Salary
Many alterations have been made to the Tier 2 minimum salary, according to the Home Office, the provisional exclusion of non-European Economic Area secondary STEM and mandarin nurses, teachers, medical radiographers and paramedics from the £30,000 income threshold is going to be permanent. The effective date for them to meet up with the lesser £20,800 annual minimum income to be eligible as Tier 2 is the 30th of March 2019. Even more changes loom ahead.
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