Personal Immigration

Tier 2 Visa System Criticised Home Affairs Select Committee

The Home Affairs Select Committee has criticised the Tier 2 Visa system stating that it is “unfit for purpose” and that it may be “counter-productive” for businesses and the UK economy.

The attack on the immigration system were highlighted in a report regarding the government's Tier 2 Visa cap on recruiting skilled workers from outside the European Union (EU).

According to the committee, the current cap of 20,700 has had a limited effect on immigration in general as it had led employers to employ from within the EU rather than attempt to get skilled workers from outside the EU.

Despite the criticism of the Tier 2 system, some in the Government are considering further visa restrictions to bring net migration to under100000 a year by 2020. Latest figures showed that net migration levels have hit a record annual rate of 336,000.

Criticism of Visa Clampdown

Although there have been a number of considered changes to the visa system, many businesses and experts have criticised the current system, demanding change. Start-up companies and leading businesses addressed an open letter to the government calling for them to introduce a “start-up” visa allowing small, growing businesses to recruit more easily from non-EU markets.

Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz MP, said that the sudden decision to make it easier for nurses to enter the UK, by adding the occupation to the shortage occupation list, shows that the Tier 2 Visa system is simply not fit for purpose.

Mr Vaz said: "Having hit the monthly cap in June this year, we witnessed the twisted effects of the system, as the cap gives preference to job roles with higher salaries. In June, nurses were prohibited from working in the UK, which prompted the government to temporarily ease restrictions to allow recruitment to continue."

"Although the temporary measures were welcomed, it's clear that the Tier 2 Visa system could have caused a staffing crisis across the NHS this winter."

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