Immigration lawyers say employers struggling with a lack of skills in the UK should revisit the UK work visa system because recent changes have made it “infinitely easier” to apply before Brexit, immigration lawyers say.
The government has reduced the polarization to bring skilled workers under the employer-sponsored route and created additional, low-cost, non-sponsored routes for applicants from countries such as India, South Korea and Japan.
Audrey Elliott, an employment law partner at Eversheds Sutherland, said: “Immigration for work is controlled, but the ability to bring people to the UK under skilled labor routes is infinitely easier than before Brexit. Skill levels and wage thresholds have dropped and the residential labor market has passed the test, but it requires process and cost. “
The government is preparing to issue a new scale-up visa for fast-growing companies to hire foreign workers with minimal paperwork and costs, as well as the ability to transfer workers to UK employers once and give them indefinite leave to become permanent residents. .
Sage Sunak, the Chancellor, said last month: “I believe that we now have the support of the people to create one of the most attractive visa systems in the world for entrepreneurs and highly skilled people.”
Official figures show that 239,987 work-related visas were issued last year, more than double the number in 2020 and a quarter more than in 2019. Employers have applied for 121,386 applications for certification for sponsored routes, an increase of 14 percent over 2018 figures. Health and social work employers were the heaviest users, followed by IT and communications.
Luisa Cole, a major collaborator at Evershades Sutherland, says: “Of course the tune has changed. Historically there has been more focus on the limitations of numbers: caps. We are seeing a shortage of skills now and so the government is expanding existing departments to help bring in the talent of the business community. “
Elliott added that most businesses considering hiring overseas are looking at registering at the home office to sponsor workers. Applying and then hiring under that route is expensive – usually পাঁচ 10,000 for a five-year, skilled-worker visa – but getting approved means new applications are more secure and relatively quick, usually no longer than three months.
“We’re seeing a lot of sponsored applications right now,” he said. “If you look at the gaps in efficiency, the same way you would think about getting an insurance policy. It’s a matter of business resilience.” Smaller companies benefit from lower registration and application fees.
For those looking to further reduce costs, perhaps প্রতি 2,000 and £ 3,000 per applicant, Eversheds Sutherland highlighted three non-sponsored routes for work visas that could help. The long-running “backpacker” route to work in the UK for people aged 18 to 30, called the Youth Mobility Scheme, remains attractive, it said. Up to 30,000 Australians, 13,000 New Zealanders, 6,000 Canadians, as well as a small number of young people from Iceland, Monaco and San Marino can use the scheme. A ballot system is also run twice a year for applicants from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Cole said the second visa was attractive for graduates studying in the Youth Mobility Route and especially in the UK because it gave them the opportunity to test new recruits for up to two years before deciding whether to sponsor employers.
He added, however, that candidates with high demand may be in favor of job offers from employers who are able to provide sponsorship from day one as this will enable them to apply for faster disposal indefinitely.
Cole advised employers to keep an eye on a new visa called the Indian Young Professional Route, which, if available, would offer 3,000 people each year for work visas of 30 years or less. Employers do not have to sponsor individuals, or satisfy skills and salary thresholds.
The Home Office has come under fire for handling immigration applications from Ukrainians fleeing the war and wanting to join families in the UK.
Elliott said that despite claims for the visa application process, attorneys at the Home Office Visa Unit in Sheffield do not see any change in the processing of visa applications by employers or migrant workers.