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Do you plan to engage skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area in the near future? If so you, need to be aware of changes announced this week by the Home Office which will affect the existing Codes of Practice.

Effective from 6 April 2013, the changes will affect the timing of the applications for restricted certificates of sponsorship in March and April 2013.

The changes include:

  • Changes to salary requirements. The minimum appropriate rates for skilled workers in each occupation will reflect changes in settled workers’ pay. The overall Tier 2 salary thresholds will also be increased in April, in line with wage inflation of 1.4 per cent
  • Changes to the resident labour market test which determines whether suitable settled workers are available for a job before it can be offered to a migrant worker. The current lists of specific publications and websites for advertising vacancies will be replaced with a set of simple criteria for identifying suitable media; and
  • Updating the lists of skilled occupations.

The definitive version of the Codes of Practice will be published separately on the UK Border Agency website in advance of 6 April 2013. For more details of the announcement visit  – http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsarticles/2013/march/07-rcos