Home Secretary Priti Patel proposes an increase in the salary requirement for foreign workers post Brexit

Earlier this week new Home Secretary Priti Patel was challenged on her pledge to increase the salary threshold for foreign workers post-Brexit. Priti Patel had previously promised to restore “integrity” to the Immigration system in the United Kingdom and insisted that all foreign workers must earn a minimum of £36,700 after the United Kingdom officially departs from the European Union. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on 31 October 2019 irrespective of a deal. The proposed changes have not been welcomed by foreign workers who currently work in low skilled jobs earning less than the £36,700. Employers have also raised concerns as the majority of low skilled jobs were initially offered to settled workers but could not be filled and therefore had to be offered to foreign workers. It remains unclear who will fill these jobs once the new salary requirement is implemented.

Brexit update – Who will the new salary requirement of £36,700 apply to?

Priti Patel has been reluctant to comment on her proposed plans to increase the salary requirement for foreign workers to £36,700. There is a huge cloud of confusion regarding the changes as it remains unclear whether this change will only apply to the current workers under the Tier 2 work visa scheme or whether the changes will also apply to European workers in the United Kingdom post Brexit. If it is the case that the changes will apply to European workers post Brexit there is likely to be chaos and a serious shortage of staff in particular fields such as teaching, farming, the food sector and smaller boutique businesses. Further, it is also worth mentioning that there are skilled jobs which do meet the £36,700 pay bracket. It seems like the Home Secretary will continue her predecessors’ plans to create a hostile environment in the United Kingdom post-Brexit. However, the Centre for Social Justice, co-founded by Iain Duncan Smith has welcomed the changes and has suggested that the changes will help those born in the United Kingdom to find employment. Further, the Home Office has suggested that they will offer exemptions for foreign workers working in particular fields such as jobs related to the National Health Service (NHS).

Brexit update – What action should foreign workers take to secure their future in the United Kingdom?

Foreign workers are advised to secure their future in the United Kingdom before the new changes are implemented. Whilst there are no proposed dates to when new the changes will be implemented, it is our understanding that these changes will be introduced later this year unless there is U-turn from the Home Secretary.  European workers are advised to apply for Settled Status or EEA permanent residence. The benefit of applying for these documents is that any European worker holding either one of these documents will not be subject to the new changes post Brexit. And can work in any job without restrictions. The main requirements for applying for these documents are that you must show that you have been exercising Treaty Rights in the United Kingdom continuously for any 5 year period (present or past).  European workers who are not eligible to apply for these documents may wish to consider applying for a Pre-settled Status document.

It is clear that these changes will also affect non-European workers post-Brexit. The current Tier 2 work visa scheme is already complex and often requires specialist assistance when applying for Tier 2 Sponsor Licences, Tier 2 work visa applications and understanding the Tier 2 compliance duties and responsibilities. Tier 2 workers who are eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) are urged to apply to secure their future in the United Kingdom. The Tier 2 Sponsorship process is only going to get more difficult post Brexit. By applying for indefinite leave to remain workers will also be one step closer to securing British citizenship (if desired). Further by applying for indefinite leave to remain Tier 2 workers will have more freedom and they will not be fixed to one employer.

Using Legal Representation to submit a UK Visa application post Brexit

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on the law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with your UK visa application post Brexit. Our Solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules/EEA Regulations.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your UK visa application post Brexit succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules/EEA Regulations.

Successfully apply for a UK Visa application post Brexit

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a UK visa application post Brexit before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of an application and are able to advise you in respect of your prospects and to ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss an application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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