There is no doubt that Brexit could deter many highly skilled workers from entering the UK employment market, specifically those from EEA countries. However the Migration Advisory Committee has put forward a number of recommendations for Tier 2 (General) visas, in the event that they are extended to also cover EEA citizens.
Currently, one of the main methods of entry to the UK for non-EEA migrants is the Tier 2 (General) route. If this route were extended to accommodate EEA citizens, the current system of allocating restricted certificates for sponsorship would restrict UK employers from benefitting from the influx of highly skilled workers from outside the EU. This potential issue could be avoided with the MAC’s recommendation of abolishing the cap on Tier 2 (General) workers, which limits the number of workers who are granted their visa applications from month to month. The Committee have suggested that when the cap on Tier 2 (General) workers has been reached, those who are stopped from coming to work in the UK ‘are the most economically beneficial’.
The MAC have also recommended the abolition of the Resident Labour Market Test (“the Test”), a test currently in place to determine whether a Tier 2 (General) applicant can fill a vacancy which cannot be filled by a settled worker in the UK. In order to satisfy this Test the sponsoring employer would have to prove that there are no suitably qualified workers to fill that particular vacancy after advertising the role for a period of 28 days. Under the current system a job offer passing the Test will make 30 points available to the applicant in their application for a Tier 2 (General) visa.
The proposed alternative to the Test will cut down on ‘red tape’, and be based on salary thresholds and the Immigration Skill Charge. The removal of the Test would have a knock-on effect on the importance of the Points Based System approach to workers’ immigration applications, so any proposed alternative would need to provide an amount of certainty to both applicants and sponsoring employers.
If you have any questions or concerns relating to Tier 2 (General) visas, please contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.