Minimum Salary Requirement For Tier 2 General Visa
The Tier 2 General Visa is one of the UK's most popular options for those looking to move to the UK to live and work. Offering those with the appropriate skills the chance to move to the UK (and even settle in the long-term), the visa is an excellent option for both businesses and migrants to get what they need. One of the biggest stumbling blocks of the Tier 2 General Visa is the minimum salary requirement.
Potentially more complicated than any other facet of the visa, the minimum salary requirement needs to be understood by both employers and migrants in order to make the system work properly. In this article, we are going to look at the minimum salary requirements for the Tier 2 General Visa, and delve into some of the more complicated subjects so that you can move forward.
What is the Minimum Salary for a Tier 2 General Visa?
What seems like a straightforward question is actually potentially very difficult!
The minimum salary for an "experienced" worker entering the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa is £30,000. However, this £30,000 limit is not the only one that exists!
2017 brought in a "new entrant" level that allowed the minimum salary requirement to be reduced for those who fit one of the following criteria:
- The applicant must be switching from a Tier 4 Student Visa from within the UK (this would generally be at the end of their studies)
- The applicant must be applying for leave under the Tier 2 (ICT) Graduate Trainee scheme
- The applicant must be under the age of 26 on the date of application
For these workers, the rate will drop to a minimum of £20,800 per annum (you will need to speak to us to ensure that the role and worker qualifies).
£30,000 is potentially not the minimum
Something else that needs clarifying is that the absolute minimum salary for a job is not necessarily £30,000. The Standard Occupational Classification (more commonly referred to as SOC) of a specific role will define what the actual minimum salary requirement is for that role. Employers are required to choose the SOC code that most closely matches the role that they are advertising and pay the relevant wage. Again, depending on the skill level and worker's specific situation, you will need to adjust the pay accordingly. This adjustment may result in you needing to pay significantly more than £30,000 in order to satisfy the Home Office's requirements. In order to maintain compliance, it is vital that this is adhered to. Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders can be visited at any time, and any lack of compliance is likely to be punished heavily.
What Happens Once the Minimum Salary Requirement for the Tier 2 General Visa Has Been Met?
Once the minimum salary requirement for the Tier 2 General Visa has been met, you will be able to offer a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the applicant that you wish to take on. The applicant will then use this as part of their application to show that they have been offered an eligible job in the UK. Their application will then be assessed against the eligibility criteria that is set out for the Tier 2 General Visa. All being well, your applicant should be offered their visa within 8 weeks. Once they have received their visa, they will be free to come to the UK to start their role.
Once the worker is in your employ, you are responsible for keeping accurate records for them. From the Home Office's standpoint, Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders become responsible for those that they have given jobs to. You will need to ensure that you have rigorous HR processes in place to keep compliant, and you will need to ensure that the Home Office is kept updated of any significant changes to your worker's employment (i.e. if they go missing, if they leave the business etc.). Failure to keep adequate records could result in penalties for your business, therefore it is vital that you remain compliant.
Where Can I Get More Help?
If you are looking to get your HR practices compliant, please get in touch and we can help you to ensure compliance. We have worked with many businesses that bring in Tier 2 General Visa holders to the UK, and can help to ensure that you have everything that you need in order to stay on the right side of immigration law.
The penalties for non-compliance are hugely damaging (not only financially - the fine for an illegal worker is £20,000 per worker - but you can also face imprisonment). We can help you set up rigorous processes that ensures compliance and can allow you to concentrate on the more important job of running your business.
Make sure you get in touch today and talk to a member of our immigration solicitors team about the solutions we offer for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders.
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