On 6 April 2017 The UK Home Office made changes to the UK’s immigration system, which are currently still in effect.
Key changes include:
- The introduction of a skills levy for Tier 2 Sponsors
- The expansion of criminal record checks for certain job roles
- Failure of basic compliance assessment is now a serious breach of sponsor compliance for Tier 4 sponsors
- UK NARIC statements can be used to demonstrate English language proficiency at the appropriate level rather than at just C1
This will be levied on employers who employ migrants in skilled jobs. Set at £1,000 per employee per year, with a reduced rate of £364 for small or charitable organisations.
Criminal records checks
A criminal record certificate requirement has been extended to Tier 2 skilled worker applicants in the education, health and social care sectors.
Tier 2 applicants from non-EEA countries in these employment sectors now need to present a criminal record certificate. This is also the case for any adult dependants of the applicant.
A list of the job roles that are subject to this requirement can be found in the Tier 2 section of the UKVI website.
Failure of basic compliance assessment is now a serious breach
Tier 4 sponsors should be aware that failing their basic compliance assessment is now considered a ‘serious breach’.
A serious breach can lead to a ‘Compliance Track 2’ process which, in the majority of cases, will mean that the sponsor will be removed from the Tier 4 Register of Sponsors whilst UKVI investigates.
It is therefore imperative that Tier 4 sponsors ensure that they make fully informed decisions, with thorough record-keeping, about their international applicants for study.
A range of UK NARIC services for organisations is available to help universities, colleges and schools understand more about international education systems and international qualifications.
UK NARIC also offers training to support Tier 4 sponsors.
More information about Tier 4 and information for Tier 4 sponsors is available on the UKVI website.
UK NARIC statements for English language
Presenting their qualifications that are at least comparable to UK Bachelor level (with UK NARIC statements evidencing the comparability) has been one of the ways in which migrants to the UK can demonstrate their English language proficiency.
The 6 April 2017 changes to the immigration rules have extended the use of UK NARIC statements to all CEFR levels. Previously, UK NARIC statements could be used to demonstrate only CEFR level C1.
This means that UK NARIC statements can now be used to demonstrate the appropriate level of English language skills to support applications to UKVI for – work; study; family; settlement; citizenship; and naturalisation.
There is more information about using UK NARIC English language statements for immigration purposes on other pages of this blog.
Please visit the Home Office website for more information and recent changes to immigration rules and guidance: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration