With Brexit on the horizon, highly skilled workers may no longer see the United Kingdom as an attractive destination to come and work, especially those from the EU. Currently, EU nationals are allowed to work in the UK the same way British nationals and other settled workers are, without having to apply for a work visa beforehand as working is one of the ways to exercise EU Treaty Rights. However, once the UK has left the EU, most workers will have to meet the same or similar stringent requirements for the Tier 2 (General) Workers Visa under the Points Based System.
What is the current system for Tier 2 (General) Workers?
The current Tier 2 system accommodates highly skilled migrants from outside the EU and Switzerland. If, after Brexit, the UK government extends the remit of the Tier 2 system to include EU Citizens, this would mean UK employers would be further restricted by benefitting from non-EU highly skilled workers because of the cap on the number of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) issued. We have previously posted that the cap on Tier 2 CoS has been reached for every month the first half of this year. This led to the temporary exclusion of NHS doctors and nurses from the CoS limits in order to give more opportunities for workers in other fields and ease the burden on the NHS staffing crisis.
The main requirements for the Tier 2 (General) Workers Visa are:
- The UK employer must have a Sponsor Licence and have issued you with a CoS reference number. A CoS is an electronic document which holds information about the job such as salary and length of employment;
- Applicants must be offered a minimum of at least £30,000 per year in salary unless they are working as a pre-registered nurse or midwife;
- Applicants must meet the maintenance requirement by showing that you have held £945 in cash savings for 90 consecutive days before the date of your application or provide a written undertaking from your prospective employer confirming that they are willing to accommodate and maintain you if necessary; and
- Applicants must prove their knowledge of the English language by passing an English language test at a Home Office approved test centre at a minimum level of B1 CEFR in reading, writing, speaking and listening. They can also meet this requirement if they have an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by the UK Naric or if they are a national of an English-speaking country.
It is important to seek professional legal advice before making any UK Visas and Immigration application, particularly in the current uncertain immigration climate. EU national workers and Tier 2 (General) Applicants should specifically contact our expert Immigration Team to schedule a consultation with our qualified solicitors in order to assess whether the Immigration Rules and requirements can be satisfied.
What could future be after Brexit for Tier 2 (General) Workers?
Recently, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has suggested that the cap on the Tier 2 (General) Workers Visa be abolished in order for UK employers to be able to benefit from a larger pool of workers from both within the EU and outside of the EU post-Brexit. A further recommendation by MAC is to abolish the Resident Labour Market (RLMT). Currently, the purpose of the RLMT is to establish whether the job vacancy can be filled by a British, settled or an EU Citizen worker. If the employer is able to establish that the role cannot be filled by a British, settled or an EU Citizen worker, the employer may look to fill the vacancy with a worker from outside the EU. The proposed replacement system will be based on salary, however, any changes to the RLMT system will naturally require changes to the Tier 2 system.
The months leading up to Brexit in March 2019 will certainly be of interest to employers in the catering industry and other professions where there is a labour shortage or need to highly skilled migrant workers.
Using Legal Representation to prepare for life after Brexit for Tier 2 (General) Workers
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an Immigration application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject Immigration applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Immigration application 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.
Successfully submit a Tier 2 (General) Workers Visa after 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 an Immigration application 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 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 a successful application. 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 your immigration matter or application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.