Tuesday, 30 April 2013

What’s the minimum salary for Tier 2 General visa? £20,000 or £20,300 or as on Code of Practice?

We are asked this question a lot as requirements seem to be confusing.

1. There is a minimum salary of £20,300, it went up from £20,000 on 6 April 2013. This is just a minimum, so all Tier 2 General applicants must be offered at least that but it does not end there.
 
2. At the same time the minimum salary must be as on the Tier 2 Code of Practice here:http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/business-sponsors/points/sponsoringmigrants/employingmigrants/codesofpractice/
 
Or if your job is on a Shortage Occupation List then salaries will also be on it here:http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/business-sponsors/points/sponsoringmigrants/employingmigrants/shortageoccupationlist/
 
For example, if your occupation requires a minimum salary of £19,000 then you must be still offered at least £20,300 to qualify, otherwise your application will be refused.
 
However, if your occupation requires a minimum of, say, £30,000 then you must be offered minimum £30,000 (and not £20,300). If you are offered less than £30,000 in this example then your application will be refused because your salary is not as on the Code of Practice, even if it is £20,300.
 
If your employer cannot afford to pay £30,000 then they can reduce a number of hours you work, on a pro-rated basis (still keeping the minimum of £20,300).
 
For example, your occupation requires a salary of £30,000 for a 39-hour working week (from 6 April 2013 the new Code of Practice is based on 39 hours per week, unlike the old one which was based on 37.5 hours). So, pay per hour would be: £30,000 / 52 (weeks in a year) / 39 (hours per week) = £14.80. The minimum pay for a Tier 2 General visa is £20,300 per annum, so we need enough hours to achieve £20,300 per year. In this example it would be minimum 27 hours per week: 27 x £14.80 per hour x 52 = £20,779.20. It is minimum £20,300 and meets the Code of Practice requirement of paying minimum £30,000 for a 39-hour week, in our case it is the same salary per hour, just working less hours.
 
A number of working hours will be stated on your Certificate of Sponsorship (COS), so the UKBA does not have to guess. You have to ensure your employer knows that! From our experience many HR managers just put some standard salary amount for some standard (for their company) number of working hours per week and then it turns out to be not enough when we compare it with the Code of Practice. It is you, the migrant, who will have a problem when applying for a Tier 2 visa, not your employer. If your employer gets it wrong then your COS will become obsolete and your employer will have to issue you with another COS. Our strong advice – discuss this with your employer BEFORE they assign your COS!
 
Please remember: if your job is from Shortage Occupation List then minimum number of hours must be 30 hours per week!

3. There is a new salary category from 6 April 2013: Entry Level, which is a lower amount of pay for the people who are applying under Tier 2 category for the 1st time AND are under 25 years old. Some of these Entry salary levels may be less than £20,300, however, as we said above, the minimum must be still £20,300 per year. It means you must be either offered more than an Entry Level or your COS must specify more hours in order to take your pay to a total of £20,300. Just cannot end up working too much – the UKBA allows max 48 hours per week.
 
For more advice or to make an application, including on same-day service in Croydon, please contact us: info@1st4immigration.com or visit www.1st4immigration.com

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our CDP training website: www.1st4immigration.com/training