Skilled worker cap continues to be hit despite NHS exemption from quota

Every month since last December, the maximum number Tier 2 skilled worker visas have been reached. This is despite the fact that last month NHS workers were temporarily made exempt from this limit in order to free up thousands of allocations for skilled workers in other sectors. LEXVISA’s business immigration team specialise in points-based system applications. If you are a non-EU national and a skilled worker or business owner looking to hire a migrant worker, you should contact us and arrange a consultation to discuss how we can assist with your work visa applications.

Why is NHS staff excluded from the skilled worker cap and why is the cap continuing to be hit?

In the most recent Statement of Changes, as of July 2018, it stated that NHS staff will be temporarily excluded from the Tier 2 cap. This is because there was increasing pressure from the public and Government ministers. The Home Office had said that about 40% of Tier 2 visas were allocated to NHS staff. Therefore removing the cap for NHS staff should’ve given allocations to workers in other industries. However, for July 2018, UKVI figures highlight that 2,446 certificates of sponsorship (CoS) were issued. Approximately 2,000 Tier 2 visas are refused per month. Despite NHS staff being excluded from the visa cap, there are still major shortages in other highly skilled professions, such as lawyers and engineers.

What is the skilled worker cap?

There is a limit on the number of Tier 2 visas that are issued per year. The annual quota is 20,700, which is divided into monthly allocations. Whilst UK businesses are permitted to recruit from overseas, employers are encouraged to employ UK residents first and foremost. A spokesperson for EEF, the manufacturing and engineering body in the UK, has called for the government to scrap the Tier 2 skilled worker cap entirely, along with the Immigration Skills Charge.

Why is there a high demand for non-EU skilled workers?

There is constantly a demand for skilled workers in the UK as there is a labour shortage. This means that there are gaps in the job market that have not been filled by UK residents. All of the shortage occupations in the UK are listed under Appendix K of the Immigration Rules. There could be a number of factors as to the labour shortages, including lack of training of UK nationals in certain areas such as the NHS. Whilst there has been a recruitment drive, the government has to take into consideration the fact that it can take years to qualify in certain professions, therefore whilst we wait for UK nationals to get the adequate qualifications and training, there is still going to be a shortage of skilled workers in these areas and therefore turning to talent abroad is the only feasible option.

Using Legal Representation to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to make a visa application as a skilled worker.

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 application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Skilled Worker Visa Applications

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 immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We 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.

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

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