Tier 2 - no changes for international students

24 March 2016

The Immigration Minister has today announced that Tier 2 changes will not affect Tier 4 (General) students.

We have reproduced the most directly relevant paragraphs of his speech below:

"Employers will continue to be able to recruit non-EEA graduates of UK universities without first testing the resident labour market and without being subject to the annual limit on Tier 2 (General) places, which will remain at 20,700 places per year. Additionally, we shall give extra weighting within the Tier 2 (General) limit to businesses sponsoring overseas graduates, and will allow graduates to switch roles within a company once they have secured a permanent job at the end of their training programme. These changes will take effect from autumn 2016."

"There will be no change to the work rights of dependants of Tier 2 migrants." 

The minimum salary threshold for new entrants, which applies to Tier 4 (General) students will remain at £20,800.

He also confirmed that employers who sponsor Tier 4 (General) students under Tier 2 will not have to pay the immigration skills charge when that is introduced, probably in April 2017.