The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has published details of rules on maintenance requirements which skilled migrants must meet when applying to come to the UK under Tier 2 of the points-based system.
Under Tier 2, which went live on 27 November, migrants can prove their maintenance either by:
- showing they have personal savings of £800 which they have had for three months
- having a written confirmation from their A-rated sponsor that the sponsor will maintain and accommodate the migrant until the end of the first month of their work in the United Kingdom.
The UKBA has now extended the provision to include a migrant’s dependant visa holder.
Dependants can prove they meet the maintenance requirement either by:
- showing that they, or the migrant, have held £533 for each dependant for the previous three months
- having written confirmation from the migrant’s A-rated sponsor that the sponsor will maintain and accommodate the migrant’s dependants, if necessary, during their first month in the United Kingdom.
This means that even if a migrant worker has a job with a Certificate of Sponsorship (which replaced Work Permits) from a registered sponsor (employer) in the UK, they still have to show sufficient funds to help them through the first month or so.
The maintenance rule is seen by many as discriminatory to migrants from poorer countries who might find it difficult to show an amount equivalent to several month’s salary.
Entry Clearance Officers in places like the Philippines and India also question the source of funds and will refuse a visa application if the source cannot be proven.
Many of these refusal decisions are subsequently overturned on appeal before an independent immigration Judge at the AIT.
As part of the immigration shake-up, the Government has withdrawn the right of appeal under the points system and will replace it with an Administrative Review by an Entry Clearance Manager (ECM).