UK Border Agency Makes Changes to Tier 2 of the Points-Based System

by Morgan Lewis

Statement of intent includes changes to salary thresholds, advertisement requirements, and application fees.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) released its "Statement of Intent: Codes of Practice for skilled workers" with anticipated effect from 6 April 2013.[1] The statement of intent details the changes the UKBA intends to make to the rules governing the use of Tier 2 of the Points-Based System and the Codes of Practice, which outline the occupations that are capable of sponsorship under Tier 2. Set out below is a summary of the changes and the likely effect that this will have on Tier 2 applications submitted on or after 6 April 2013.

Changes to the Codes of Practice

The UKBA will release new Codes of Practice with "modernised" job titles and descriptions. Although the skill threshold is anticipated to remain at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 6 (which roughly equates to graduate-level roles), these modernisations are expected to reflect more senior roles, and it may no longer be possible to sponsor some managerial roles in the way that it is possible now.

The new Codes of Practice are expected to be published by the UKBA on or around 15 March 2013.

Employers who were planning to recruit or transfer an individual to the UK within the next three to four months should consider now whether it will be possible to sponsor the individual's Tier 2 application after 6 April 2013. If an employer expects that the new rules will affect a sponsorship, the employer should consider whether it is possible to prepare and submit an application before the changes take effect.

Changes to the Minimum Salary Threshold

The minimum salary threshold for Tier 2 applications is likely to increase. In addition, a new lower pay threshold will be introduced for new entrant employees, including those switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2, applicants aged 25 years old or under, and those sponsored in the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (Graduate Trainee) route.

Changes to the Resident Labour Market Test

Where advertising is required to satisfy the criteria for the role, it may be necessary to satisfy this Resident Labour Market Test in a different manner going forward. For roles that are first advertised on or after 6 April 2013, the UKBA may require the Tier 2 sponsor to have advertised the role in at least two places, even if advertising in Universal Job Match—the UK labour offices' website—is not mandatory. The advertisement can, however, appear on two different websites. If a Tier 2 sponsor is a large employer (i.e., has more than 250 employees) or an international company, it will be able to advertise on its own website in addition to one other website.

The UKBA has also indicated that it intends to allow sponsors to place advertisements in media where they believe they are most likely to find a successful candidate for the role, rather than a sponsor being required to advertise on those websites or places set out by the Codes of Practice.

Sponsors should note that, if they undertake the Resident Labour Market test (i.e., advertise a role) prior to 6 April 2013, they are not required to readvertise the role in accordance with the new criteria after 6 April. However, if the certificate is assigned after 6 April, the sponsor will be required to pay the higher salary threshold as referred to above.

Changes to UKBA Application Fees

The UKBA has also published its proposed application fees for applications submitted on or after 6 April 2013. The main fee increases include the following:

  • The fee for Tier 2 Visa applications will increase from £450 to £494.
  • The fee for Tier 2 Extension applications submitted by post will increase from £561 to £578.
  • Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship fees will increase from £179 to £184.
  • The fee for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications submitted by post for Tier 2 workers will be increased from £991 to £1,051.

The new application fees for submitting applications at a Public Enquiry Office for same-day processing will equal the relevant fee as listed above plus an additional £375. The UKBA also intends to introduce a new appointment booking fee of £100 for same-day processing appointments, which will be retained if the applicant fails to attend his or her appointment. Further guidance has not yet been provided as to whether the £100 booking fee is included in the above fees or whether it will be added to the above fees.

Changes to the Life-in-the-UK Test

A new Life-in-the-UK Test will be introduced on 25 March 2013. The updated test, which must be completed by all individuals applying for ILR in the UK or naturalisation as a British citizen, will focus on aspects of British culture and history.

Individuals who have already taken and passed the Life-in-the-UK Test but who are not submitting their ILR application until after 25 March 2013 are not required to re-sit for the new test.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Morgan Lewis | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Morgan Lewis

Morgan Lewis on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.