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


Monday, 22 April 2013

Accredited Continuing Professional Development - for immigration advisers and solicitors

1st 4Immigration is an accredited CPD distance learning provider, our online training courses are accepted by the OISC and SRA, CPD provider ref number EJE/14IM.

Current courses:
What’s Next after Post-Study Work and Tier 4 Visas? 4.5 hours CPD credit.
British Citizenship - a Dream for Many! 7 hours CPD credit.
This course includes changes on criminality from 13 December 2012 and rules for EEA nationals including Bulgarian / Romanian (A2) whose first applications can be submitted in 2013.

Download from our website, study in your own time on any computer, iPad or iPhone, complete the test and we will award your CPD hours and send you a certificate.

The courses are offered by our company, 1st 4Immigration Ltd, which is a practising immigration company, registered by The OISC at a highly respectable Level 2, based at the Royal Mint in Central London.

We are also accredited by the UK Border Agency in Croydon and submit applications using Premium service for accredited representatives. We provide biometric appointments every week (ILR, Tier 1, Spouse/Partner etc) and we have permanent slots to submit Settlement (ILR) applications every week without appointments. We’ve had 100% success rate in 2012.
1st 4Immigration Ltd,
OISC no F200800152, SRA ref EJE/14IM.
4 Royal Mint Court, Tower Hill, London, EC3N 4HJ.


Monday, 1 April 2013

From Tier 1 or Tier 2 Dependant visa straight to an ILR? But what about the traditional advice of getting a Spouse visa first?

It is a common situation when the main applicant is about t qualify for an ILR on the basis of 5 years on Tier 1 General and/or Tier 2 visas, however, the spouse/partner has not spent enough time in the UK by then. Or has spent enough time but not enough on Dependant visas.

Before 9 July 2012 we, advisers, had to advise the clients the following: if the main applicant chooses to get an ILR on hi/ her own, while spouse/partner has not spent the required 2 years in the UK (and on dependent visas), then the spouse/partner had to switch to a Spouse visa, FLR M application. Then, when the spouse/partner has achieved 2 years of residency (on dependent visas), he/she could apply for an ILR, making a SET M application.

In the above cases the 2 years could be combined of PBS Dependant visas and a Spouse visa.

All changed on 9 July 2012!

Now it is possible to switch from a Tier 1 or 2 Dependant to an ILR without having to apply for a Spouse visa first. It would be a SET O application, category Other because SET O form has still not been updated with that (but the rules have been changed, as above).

So, let's imagine the main applicant has spent 5 years on Tier 1 General visas and wants to apply for an IR. However, the spouse has a Tier 1 Dependant visa, issued before 9 July 2012, and only has been in the UK for 1.5 years. This spouse cannot apply for an ILR at the same time because he/she has not spent 2 years in the UK.

In this case the spouse can apply for an extension of the Dependant visa, on PBS Dependant form, which can be on same-day Premium service. Extension will be for 3 years. In this case it does not matter that the main applicant is not applying under the Tiers anymore. The main applicant might have an ILR or even become British while the spouse can keep applying for a PBS Dependant visa, every time getting a visa for 3 years.

Then, when the spouse can finally meet the required number of years of residing in the UK then he/ she can apply for an ILR on SET O form. This was not possible before 9 July 2012 but is possible now.

How many years? Dependant spouses/ partners need to spend 2 years in the UK on dependent visas if their 1st Dependant visa was issued before 9 July 2012.

However, Dependant spouses/ partners need to spend 5 years in the UK on dependant visas if their 1st dependant visa was issued on or after 9 July 2012. Now it must be making sense why extensions for 3 years were introduced!

There is one exception (would not have been the same without with the UKBA!)

The rule in this posting, ie switching from a PBS Dependant direct to an ILR, can be used if the main applicant applied for an ILR on the basis of 5 years on Tier 1 or Tier 2 visas. This rule would NOT apply if the main applicant applied for an ILR otherwise, such as on the basis of Long Residence 10 years (in that case the spouse/partner has no choice but to get a Spouse visa FLR M).
For an advice or application please contact info@1st4immigration.com or visit www.1st4immigration.com
If you are an immigration Adviser or a Solicitor then you can check our ONLINE training courses here (distance learning in your own time), including training with award of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours, accepted by the OISC and SRA: www.1st4immigration.com/training