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MAC Proposals for Tier 2 Entry Visas

In an attempt to further curb the percentage of net immigration under the company sponsored Tier 2 route under the Points Based System, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), independent advisors to the Home Office, have proposed several far reaching changes for the year 2016.

MAC claims that the corporate category is oversubscribed with many key industries readily recruiting from overseas, finance, IT and engineering in particular. As many as 1 in every 10% of engineering firms in the UK intends to engage international staff because of competition at home and the quality of the training overseas engineers receive. MAC emphasises that this state of affairs is detrimental to settled workers with similar skills and serious efforts need to be made to improve domestic training for workers in areas which traditionally rely on foreign acquisition in order to compete in the global market.

One of the changes it has recommended is that the resident labour market test (RLMT) – the highly prescriptive vacancy advertising obligation on sponsors who wish to engage a migrant from outside the UK, should also apply to UK based migrants who either wish to switch into the worker category or extend their stay. Exceptions serve no purpose.

The MAC also recommended an increase in across the board salaries for migrant workers, on top of ever increasing visa application fees, making it tougher for UK sponsors to recruit from abroad. The Home Secretary has defended the changes, saying that the new measures, if enforced, will ensure that the UK only attracts the ‘brightest and the best’.

The actual impact of the innumerable limits imposed on this route however, is negligible, with Tier 2 accounting for a fraction of the 330 000 migrants entering the UK in the year to March 2015 according to the Office for National Statistics – a figure three times higher than what the government was aiming for.

Migrants with the right skills appear to be as undeterred as ever and this trend looks set to continue. The support of willing sponsors who recognise not only the technical aptitude of overseas workers but the diversity of perspective they bring, means migrants continue to represent a significant proportion of the UK skilled work force today.

Contact Us for Tier 2 Sponsor License Advice

If you are an employer considering applying for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, or an employee seeking entry clearance, leave to remain or settlement as a Tier 2 migrant, contact our business immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or via our online enquiry form.


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