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Home Office publishes new Tier 2 guidance and Tier 5 temporary workers IA category

On 11 January 2018 the Home Office issued a new version 01/18 of Tiers 2 and 5 guidance for sponsors.

What has changed?

  • B-rated sponsors can no longer add branches to their licence
  • B-rated sponsors can no longer add tiers to their licence
  • Further information has been added to explain what similar protection to TUPE includes
  • It is now a specific duty to report changes in business size
  • Provisions relating to changes of start date for a Tier 2 (General) migrants have been redrafted
  • Further clarifications have been added

The new guidance also contains numerous references to curtailment throughout the document.

And we are all very happy to see changes, albeit minor, to punctuation and grammar which have been made in the new guidance.

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) International Agreement

This category is for workers coming to the UK under contract to give a service to a UK employer. This includes:

  • Employees of overseas governments and international organisations
  • Private servants in diplomatic households
  • Migrants coming to the UK to service contracts awarded under specific international trade agreements

The Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) International Agreement can be used to employ a worker to service a contract covered by the UK’s commitments under international trade agreements, for a period of 12 months or less. This means that employees of an overseas business and self-employed people who need to work in the UK and are established in one of the countries listed below are able to deliver a service to a UK customer.

The UK has commitments under various EU free trade or association agreements with the following countries:

  • Chile
  • Georgia
  • Ukraine
  • Moldova

As of 11 January 2018, Canada has been added to the list of the agreements under which the UK has commitments. Canadian workers and self-employed people will be able to come to the UK on a short-term Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) category under the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

United Kingdom has also commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services.

Workers coming under this category are referred to as contractual service suppliers and independent professionals.

Contractual Service Supplier

They must be employed by a business established which is established in one of the countries that are a part of one of the above mentioned agreements and which has no commercial presence in the European Union. Migrant must be national of the country in which the sending business is located.  The worker must have been employed by the sending business for at least on year before the date of their application.

Independent Professional

An independent professional is a person who is self-employed outside the EU in a country which is party to the EU–CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement, or the EU–Andean Free Trade Agreement. The self-employed person must be a national of the country in which they are established.

Skills and services

Services that would be supplied must fall within a sector that is included within one of the agreements.

Migrants applying for leave to enter as a contractual service supplier or independent professional must have a university degree or a technical qualification showing knowledge at the same level.

Exceptions included workers that are applying in advertising and translation services, technical testing and analysis services, fashion model and entertainment services, and chef de cuisine services with an advanced technical qualification.

They must also have relevant professional qualifications, where they are legally required in the UK to carry out the work they will do, and have:

  • Three years relevant experience in the sector if they are a contractual service supplier (unless supplying chef de cuisine services under the EU–CARIFORUM agreement, in which case they must have six years’ experience as a chef de cuisine)
  • Six years relevant experience in the sector concerned if they are an independent professional

If you would like to know more about this category, for example which sectors are covered and which countries the contractual service supplier or independent professional must be established in, please contact us.


This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.

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