In response to the proposed EU Settlement Scheme, I am penning this blog both to recent enquiries which in essence incorporate the repeated concern: “I have just read that after March 2019 that our permanent residence certificates will not be valid any longer!!??” as well as a continuation of my previous blog – the lack of clarity as to exactly how European citizens will regularise their immigration status post-March 2019 remains.
UK Immigration News
Inheriting Responsibility of the Sponsor Management System (SMS)
If you have recently been appointed a Human Resource Manager or you are inheriting responsibility of the immigration department of your firm, here are some useful tips to get you started on the Sponsor Management System (SMS).
June oversubscription of Tier 2 RCoS Allocations
Many UK businesses and aspiring skilled migrants will be painfully aware of the ongoing oversubscription of the Tier 2 RCoS allocations Points Based System. It’s a reasonable assumption that this is a Brexit related phenomenon as more UK companies have identified non-European labour as a more secure source of recruitment.
Tier 2 Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship Limit oversubscribed
UK businesses sponsoring individuals from outside the EEA should be aware that the back log of Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship applications will start to ease after 6th July 2018. The Tier 2 Limit of 20,700 restricted certificates of sponsorship has been oversubscribed since December 2017 meaning there has been a huge back log of applications to filter through the Tier 2 Limits Team each month. A third of the annual restricted certificate of sponsorship allocation has been used by NHS professionals due to pressures and skills shortages, a direct result of health sector professionals leaving the UK.
There are a number of concerns with the UK Government’s apparent determination to maintain a tight grip on the inflow of skilled migrants. Muddling a vote for Brexit with a clamp down on skilled migrants is hampering the growth of the UK economy. Both public and private sector organisations have been severely disadvantaged over the past 6 months as the Home Office have been forced to favour crucial skills shortages to the utter detriment of all else.
Spouse Visa UK, Fiancé and un-married partner visa applications made under Appendix-FM of the Immigration Rules are made more complex by the Financial Requirement. The spousal route can be either ‘switched’ into from within the UK from another long-term route i.e. under Tier 2 sponsorship, or more commonly from our experience, from the applicant’s country of residence.
Tempered somewhat by the furore over the Windrush scandal and the resulting resignation of the Home Secretary, the fact remains that for those EEA Nationals whose lives are centred within the UK the “anxious wait while the fine details are ironed out” continues.
Tier 2 Rule Changes April 2018 – The Tier 2 (General) is a category for migrant workers who hold an offer of a skilled job from a Tier 2 licensed employer. Up until now, students on a Tier 4 visa, a sizeable source of potential employment possibilities for UK businesses, would have had to wait until they have received their final results before attempting to switch to Tier 2. Some grace has now been granted by the Home Office insofar as students may now apply to switch from their studies as soon as they have completed their courses; this is more in line with those undertaking PhDs.
Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship Allocations
Tier 2 Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship allocations for this month are significantly less than the last quarter due to the annual allocation for restricted CoSs coming to an end in March 2018, which may mean applications for RCoSs in March stand further scrutiny by the Tier 2 Limits Team. If you are applying for a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship be aware that your application will have to score highly to succeed, or it may rollover to the following month or ultimately refused.
Chronic Skills Shortage Within The Tech Sector
Within the ‘tech’ sector in the UK there continues to be what could be termed as a ‘chronic skills shortage’ of supply from the local labour market. This may come initially as a surprise to many, given that this sector has contributed more than £90 billion to the UK economy coffers and boasts an average salary that many can only dream of. Conversely digital skills shortage has been attributed to the existence of one in five job vacancies in the UK and places a stranglehold on many companies who are unable to realise their competitive potential subsequently becoming less attractive as a possible destination for those abroad searching for ambitious, innovative and dynamic destinations in which to invest.