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Companies warned that UK visas could face long delays

UK companies have been told that they may face ‘significant’ time delays if they are currently seeking visas for non-EU skilled workers.

The Home Office has stated that the 2,200 cap on non-EU immigrants was reached early in April, despite it being awarded a disproportionate proportion of the annual quota 20,700. April is given an uneven number of visas due to it being the start of the financial year. In comparison, March, the final month of the financial year, tends to have a cap of 1,000.

Based on salary

Once quotas are reached, the Home Office decides who will be awarded a visa based on the salary their job either already pays them, or what they have been promised. And, while the minimum annual wage an individual must receive to qualify for a Tier 2 skilled migrant visa is £30,000, it has been revealed that nobody with a yearly salary of less than £60,000 managed to obtain a visa, and in April nobody with a salary of less than £50,000 was given one.

And, in what will likely be unwanted analysis for many businesses, experts anticipate that monthly quotas will be hit early every single month of this year, and that the trend could continue well into 2019.

The Brexit effect

Even though the final Brexit deal is yet to be fully settled, many analysts believe that because fewer EU citizens are trying to work and live in the UK, demand for non-EU workers has increased. Jobs that may have previously appealed to people from Spain or France are now being filled by people from further afield – New Zealand and Australia, predominantly.

And, what should be concerning not just for businesses, but for everyone in the UK, is that the NHS is being hit particularly hard. The NHS has confirmed that since December 2017, over 400 doctors from outside of the EU have been denied visas. This has led to many people suggesting that there could well be an employee shortage in the months and years to come, and it is not yet clear how this issue will be tackled.


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