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Dependents of Tier 2 Workers should Keep the Right to Work

The majority of those surveyed said they are in favour of retaining the right to work for dependents of highly skilled workers who come to the UK from outside the EU.

The survey was conducted by campaign organisation Permits Foundation in order to inform its response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) review of the Tier 2 immigration route.

Tier 2 of the points based system is the route for skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area who have an offer of skilled employment in the UK. Currently, dependents accompanying these workers have the right to work in the UK

The MAC was commissioned by the Government earlier this year to carry out a review of this route, including whether there should be restrictions on the automatic right of Tier 2 dependants to work.

The survey questioned over 1000 highly skilled workers, around half of whom had partners also working in the UK. It found that 77% would have been reluctant to come and work in the UK if their partner had not also had the right to work here.  Respondents also said that the ability of their partner to work had a big impact on how well they adjusted to life in the UK, and was important for their health and happiness.

The partners of the highly skilled workers were also found to be highly educated, and 80% of those working were employed in professional jobs.

Permits Foundation believes that removing the right for partners to work in the UK would seriously hinder the country’s ability to attract the best talent from around the world, which would be detrimental to the UK’s economy.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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