Rates of pay for Tier 2 (General)

  1. The minimum salary you must pay for a Tier 2 (General) migrant is £30,000 per year or the appropriate rate of pay for the job as stated in the codes of practice in Appendix J of the Immigration Rules, whichever is higher, unless one of the exceptions in this section applies.Important note: Applicants who were initially granted leave to enter or remain with a CoS assigned before 24 November 2016 will continue to be subject to the £20,800 threshold, but there are no transitional arrangements for those initially granted leave with a CoS assigned between 24 November 2016 and 5 April 2017 – they are subject to the £30,000 threshold if they apply for an extension using a CoS assigned from 6 April 2017 and none of the other exemptions given in the ‘Rates of pay section apply.
  2. These rates will be updated regularly to reflect the latest available salary data.
  3. The rates of pay are set out in Appendix A of the Immigration Rules.
  4. For most jobs in Appendix J of the Immigration Rules, there are 2 pay thresholds. The lower pay threshold is for ‘new entrants’ the other pay threshold is for ‘experienced’ workers. The thresholds have been set to make sure that the resident labour market is not undercut. The rates of pay are in line with current earnings of settled workers. If the migrant is considered to be a ‘new entrant’ you may pay a minimum of £20,800 per year or the appropriate rate of pay in Appendix J, whichever is higher.
      • Tier 1 (Post-study work)
      • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
      • the International Graduates Scheme
      • the Fresh Talent Working in Scotland Scheme
      • the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme
      • Tier 4 or as a student and they have received final results confirming thatThe new entrant pay threshold reflects the fact that people in the early stages of their career are generally paid less than their more experienced counterparts. Unless the CoS is assigned for more than 3 years, the new entrant threshold can be paid if you have met the resident labour market test by carrying out a milkround, or the migrant is changing (‘switching’) into Tier 2 (General) and was last granted leave to enter or stay in the UK under any of the following:they have passed and will be (or have been) awarded either:
        • a UK recognised bachelor’s or master’s degree
        • a UK Postgraduate Certificate in Education
        • a Professional Graduate Diploma of Education
        • they have finished a minimum of 12 months study in the UK towards a UK PhD
  5. Unless the CoS is assigned for more than 3 years, the new entrant pay threshold can also be paid if the migrant is under the age of 26 on the date of their application for Tier 2 leave.
  6. You should not sponsor a migrant at the ‘new entrant’ pay threshold if you expect that you will want to sponsor them for more than 3 years and you will not pay them the experienced rate after this time.
  7. In all cases, including where the migrant is applying for a period of leave which will bring their total stay under any combination of Tier 2 leave, or as a Work Permit holder, beyond 3 years and one month, the ‘experienced’ workers threshold must be paid. This means that any worker initially sponsored at the ‘new entrant’ threshold must be paid at least £30,000 or the ‘experienced worker’ rate for their job, if they are needed for more than three years.
  8. This could be if:
    1.  they are still under the age of 26, but are applying to extend their stay in a Tier 2 category to 5 years, the ‘experienced’ workers threshold must be paid
    2.  you assign a CoS for more than 3 years

Reductions in salary

  1. If you decide to cut a migrant’s salary package to a lower rate than you stated on their CoS, such as, if the allowances offered have changed, the new rate that you pay to them must meet the current appropriate rate requirements.
  2. If the new rate is below the appropriate rate, you cannot continue to sponsor them and you must report this to us using your sponsor management system (SMS) account.
  3. There is an exception to this rule if the migrant is undertaking professional examinations to assess whether their skills meet UK standards before starting work for you, where the passing of such examinations is a regulatory requirement for the job the migrant will be sponsored to do, for example, where they are taking OSCE or PLAB tests
  4. The only other exceptions to this rule are:
    • where the reduction is due to the migrant taking a period of:
      • maternity leave
      • paternity leave
      • shared parental leave
      • adoption leave
    • long-term sick leave for more than one continuous calendar month
    • where a doctor is taking unpaid leave with your agreement to assist in the
      Ebola crisis – this limited concession will enable you to continue sponsoring
      the migrant for up to 6 months of unpaid leave per year, you should use the
      SMS as usual to tell us of the changes
    • in the case of a Tier 2 (ICT) migrant where the reduction is due to them not
      being physically present in the UK
  5.  You must not continue to sponsor a migrant who is absent from work without pay for 4 weeks or more in total, other than for the reasons listed above. You must report this using your SMS account. This applies whether the migrant is absent from work over a single period or more than one period during any calendar year (1 January to 31 December). The 4 weeks is worked out according to the migrant’s normal working pattern.
  6. If a sponsored migrant wishes to take a longer period of other unpaid leave, such as a sabbatical, you must stop sponsoring them and report this using your SMS account
  7. If the migrant was granted leave under Tier 2 (General) as a ‘high earner’ and the reduction in salary takes them below the high earner threshold, the migrant must make a new application for leave.