The UKBA has announced changes to the codes of practice for skilled migrant workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). These changes, which have been published in a statement of intent, will come into force on 6 April 2013. The statement is the Government’s response to a review of the codes of practice carried out by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) in 2012 and will cover the following points:
Changes to skilled occupation lists
The UKBA is in the process of updating its skill lists and levels to reflect the new 2010 system. As a result, sponsors will be able to amend unrestricted certificates of sponsorship that have been created, but not assigned by 6 April 2013. This will also mean that there will be changes regarding the timing of applications for restricted certificates of sponsorship in March and April. The UKBA assures all sponsors that it will be writing to them shortly, setting out the new arrangements.
Changes to salary requirements
The UKBA will simplify and update the minimum rates for skilled workers in each occupation, to reflect changes in pay for settled workers. Salary thresholds for those coming to the UK under Tier 2 of the points based system, will also be increased in April to reflect wage inflation.
Changes to the resident labour market test
The UKBA will produce a simple set of guidelines in relation to where vacancies can be advertised and this will replace the current lists of publications and websites. The aim of the new criteria is to make it easier for sponsors to advertise where they feel they will be most successful, while still ensuring that settled workers have the chance to apply for jobs.
For more information on these changes, please see the statement of intent.