25 November 2009

Changes to the UK immigration Tier 2 system to commence December

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New rules for the resident labour market test for Tier 2 of the points-based system will take effect on 14 December, the UK Government announced today.

Currently, the requirement is for employers to advertise jobs for two weeks, or one week for jobs where the salary is £40,000 or more but from 14 December the resident labour market test for Tier 2 will be extended to four weeks for all jobs.

To provide flexibility the four weeks will not need to run continuously so employers can advertise skilled jobs for shorter periods, for example for two weeks, and quickly recruit resident workers but if there are no suitable resident workers available the labour market must be tested for a further two weeks before employers can appoint a migrant worker from outside the EU for the position and obtain a UK visa.

Borders and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said: “This change ... will ensure that businesses can recruit the skilled foreign workers that the economy needs, but not at the expense of British workers, nor as a cheaper alternative to investing in the skills of the existing workforce.”

The Tier 2 change will apply to advertising campaigns that start on or after 14 December, and employers that have already run advertisements will not need to re-advertise.

The change to UK immigration rules was proposed by the independent Migration Advisory Committee in their Tier 2 report released on 19 August, and accepted by the Government on 7 September.

The other changes to Tier 2 recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee will be implemented in spring 2010.


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