This GMS Flash Alert reports on the need for all migrants applying under the Tier 2 visa category who are over the age of 18 and who fall within the affected Standard Occupational Classification Codes to produce criminal record certificates.
The U.K. government recently announced that migrants applying to come to the U.K. for employment in certain job categories in the sponsored worker visa category (Tier 2) will face an additional documentary requirement.1 These job categories are set out in the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Codes stipulated by the U.K. government.
All migrants over the age of 18 who fall within the affected Codes and their adult dependants will have to produce criminal record certificates for all countries in which they have resided for 12 months or more, consecutively or cumulatively, in the previous 10 years.
The changes are due to come into effect on 6 April 2017. SOC Codes mostly affected are within the health and medical categories.
Currently only Tier 1 (Investor) and (Entrepreneur) migrants are required to provide a criminal record certificate from all countries in which they have resided for 12 months or more continuously, within the past 10 years. When this change is implemented in April 2017, some Tier 2 migrants will become subject to more stringent criminal record checks than these high net worth categories. Global mobility program managers, immigration counsel, and foreign workers/international assignees should take note that this additional documentary requirement could significantly increase the costs and timelines of affected Tier 2 visa applications.
At present the U.K. government has not issued guidance on the specifications of the certificate for Tier 2 migrants.
However, these specifications may be based on the current guidance and information available for Tier 1 migrants, which are:
Currently, failure to provide any certificates or an acceptable explanation will result in the migrant’s application being refused.
From January 2017, migrants should be informed of this requirement at the initial stages of their entry clearance applications. This will allow migrants to begin the process of obtaining criminal record certificates at the earliest opportunity as it may impact processing times.
While these changes appear to mainly target health and teaching SOC Codes, they will present a significant adjustment to timelines, and potentially the costs, related to these vital positions. Employers relying on these codes should start to factor this new requirement into their recruitment and assignment processes.
1 As announced on the Message Board in the electronic Sponsorship Management System (the generic log-in page can be accessed). We anticipate the Home Office will put an announcement out in due course.
The KPMG Legal Services – Immigration Team has a wealth of experience in transactional, advisory, and compliance assurance services. We will be able to advise your business in relation to practical considerations in light of the above changes, as well as what this means for your long-term recruitment and compliance strategies.
Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour services.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the United Kingdom.
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