The migration advisory committee (MAC) publishes ‘Review of Tier 2’

MAC has released its ‘Review of Tier 2,’ focusing on balancing migrant selectivity, investment in skills and impacts on UK productivity and competitiveness.

Immigration
The MAC is a public body comprised of migrant experts and economists that provide transparent, independent and evidence-based advice to the Government. All questions addressed in the report were proposed by the Government, with the aim of seeking advice on potential changes to Tier 2, and concerns on the rising number of migrants and the reliance on them to fill shortages.The specific advice sought after was to focus on:
  • "Restricting Tier 2 (General) recruitment, compared with the current rules, to genuine skills shortages and highly specialist experts only. The MAC should consider how Tier 2 (General) and the shortage occupation list should be reformed to achieve this objective but with flexibility to include high value roles, key public service workers and those which require specialist skills. The MAC should advise on selection criteria such as, but not limited to, salaries, points for particular attributes, economic need and skills level, and whether such an approach should also operate in respect of intra-company transfers, and the position of those switching from Tier 4.
  • "How to limit the length of time occupations can be classed as having shortages: what would be an appropriate maximum duration and should there be exceptions?
  • "Applying a skills levy to businesses recruiting from outside the EEA, the proceeds from which would fund apprenticeships in the UK. This should consider which businesses the levy should apply to and the impact of different levels of levy, balancing the need to maximise the incentive for employers to recruit and train UK workers with the ability of businesses to access the skilled migrants they need.
  • "The impact, on Tier 2 numbers, the economy and the public finances, of restricting the automatic right of the dependants of Tier 2 visa holders to work on their Tier 2 dependant visa.
  • "The scope to tighten the Tier 2 intra-company transfer (ICT) provisions and the impact this would have on business and the economy. The MAC is asked to review any aspects of the rules and operation of the ICT route, including its usage by companies to service business process outsourcing contracts with third parties. In addition, the MAC is asked to consider the case for applying the immigration health surcharge to ICTs."
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