An IT contractor operating a micro-business in the UK will now be able to get contracts without worries, as the government is set to change the intra company transfer (ICT) visa rules. These reforms will make it tougher for outsourcing companies to hire cheaper IT professionals from abroad. It is anticipated that the reforms in ICT visa rules will be beneficial for small scale IT contractors in the UK, who invariably lose out to cheaper foreign IT staff.
The Association of Independent Professionals and Self Employed (IPSE) has hailed the government’s move to modify rules related to ICT visas. IPSE stated that it was pleased to see the government act on the Tier 2 visa recommendations put forth by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
The UK government has announced that from 2017, those professionals recruited via ICTs would have to conform to the minimum salary threshold, which has been raised to £41,500.
IPSE believes this change in the minimum salary threshold will prevent large outsourcing companies from misusing the ICT visa rules, and give UK-based IT contractors a fairer chance to get contracts.
IPSE has been campaigning for several years for changes in ICT visa rules. The association believes the present rules are unfair for UK IT contractors.
IPSE Deputy Director of Policy Andy Chamberlain said that it was indeed wonderful to see the government accept and put into place the recommendations made by the MAC, and taking measures to fix a system that was not fulfilling its purpose.
Chamberlain also added that IPSE has been concerned about the abuse of ICT permits that many outsourcing companies use to reduce their monthly wage bill. IT contractors in the UK are sidelined when large IT outsourcing firms misuse the ICT rules to bring foreign IT workers into the country.
The announcement regarding changes in the ICT visa rules will offer an independent IT contractor a level playing field, opined Chamberlain.