Update to tier 1 and 2 PBS – with effect from 6th April 2015
Immigration & Border Policy Directive recently made changes to Tier 1 & 2 categories of the Points Based System in order to offer greater flexibility under these immigration routes to support business practices and increase economic benefits to the UK. The changes are as follows:
Provision of greater flexibility for tier 2 migrant workers
There is a welcome change to the ‘cooling-off period’, to enable flexibility for genuine short term business stays in the UK. The cooling-off period will now be waived for grant of leave of less than 3 months. This means that where a migrant worker
– Is assigned a COS for 3 months or less in the preceding 12 month period, and had no other Tier 2 leave during that period, the cooling- off period will not apply;
– Has had more than one period of Tier 2 leave in the last 12 months and each COS was assigned for a period of less than 3 months, even where they total over 3 months, the cooling- off period will not apply.
Other changes include the amendment of the Shortage Occupation List, changes to the minimum salary thresholds, and appropriate salary rates.
Tier 1 change
– Tier 1 (Investor) Migrants would be required to open a UK regulated bank account before they apply for their visa. This is in line with due diligence checks that would need to be carried out by the banks before the migrant applies for entry clearance or leave to remain.
– The minimum age of investors has been increased from 16 to 18 years as the Home Office is of the view that younger adults (16 & 17 year olds) would not be able to control wholly their funds.
– Tier 1 (Investor) migrants would no longer need to ‘top-up’ their capital if they sell part of their investment at a loss. They would be required to maintain that capital within their investment portfolios. This will also apply if they sell part of their investment at a profit. They would be required to reinvest the capital in specified investments.
– Tier 1 (Investors & Graduate Entrepreneurs) are now restricted from investing in companies dealing with property investment, development or management as is applied to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category.
– Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicants would be required to submit their business plan at the initial stage of their application. If they have held their funds for less than 90 days, they would be required to show evidence of third party source of funds. The genuineness test will also now be applied at the extension and ILR application stages.
– Tier 1 (General) migrants will no longer be able to apply to extend their leave (from 6th April 2015). Applications for indefinite leave to remain will no longer be accepted in the Tier 1 (General) category from 6 April 2018.
– Tier 1 (General) Migrants will also not be able to apply to switch to Tier 1(Entrepreneur) category, unless they have already established a business before 6th April 2015, or they have obtained funding from a government department or a seed funding competition.