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Update on Tier 2 rules for international students

On 24 March 2016, the immigration minister James Brokenshire announced there would be no amendments to the rules for international students switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2 in order to work in the UK after their studies. The statement came in response to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)'s review of Tier 2.

The immigration minister said:

"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."

He added:

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

Minimum salary threshold

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

Further information

Read the full ministerial statement

See the AGCAS response to the MAC call for evidence regarding the Review of Tier 2 (July 2015) and the Review of Minimum Salary Thresholds for Tier 2 (June 2015).

Tags: international students overseas students tier 2 tier 4 mac Migration Advisory Committe Sector AGCAS

Created on: 04 April 2016

Last updated: 05 April 2016

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