Tier 2 Visa Applications Update: Theresa May Proposes Stringent Changes

Theresa May released the new Conservative manifesto last week and unsurprisingly, one of the main focuses is reducing the UK’s net migration. Recent figures highlight that the UK’s annual net migration is at 273,000. However, Theresa May’s aim is to drastically reduce this figure by more than half, to less than 100,000. This announcement has generated both fear and outrage from non-British nationals and the companies seeking to employ them due to the effects it may have on Tier 2 Visa Applications. One noteworthy change is the proposed increase of the Immigration Skills Charge from £1,000 to £2,000.

Proposed Changes Which May Affect Tier 2 Visa Applications

The main reasoning for the Prime Minister’s proposed immigration policy is that she wants to reduce migration in order to give more jobs to British nationals. The manifesto specifically states that:

“skilled immigration should not be a way for government or business to avoid their obligations to improve the skills of the British workforce”.

This plan may have a detrimental effect specifically on those applying for Tier 2 general and Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) visas. Every year there is a limit of 20,700 Tier 2 visas that available in the UK, with certain professions that are given priority in order to fill in where there are skills shortages.

In April this year the Immigration Skill Charge came in to effect. This is that Tier 2 Sponsors may have to pay an additional charge for each overseas worker who is employed. Currently this charge is £1000 for each person who is sponsored per year. This implementation alone was controversial, but according to the new manifesto, the Conservatives plan to double this charge to £2000 by 2022. Not only could this make it more challenging for Tier 2 Applicants to find a sponsor, but it may put a strain on smaller businesses who are struggling to afford the current charge, let alone a higher charge.

The Impact of the Immigration Skills Charge on Tier 2 Visa Application Changes

The proposed higher Immigration Skill Charge is likely to be unpopular across all business sectors that depend on foreign labour, which would include banks, restaurants and the National Health Service (NHS).  The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt stated that whilst the role of foreign workers is “incredibly important”, especially with regards to the NHS, he deemed it unfair that workers from overseas are being employed to do these jobs, rather than giving “our own people” the skills to do these higher paid jobs.

Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the Confederation of British Industry, has expressed concern at the Prime Minister’s “blunt approach” to immigration. Others have also criticised the Prime Minister’s plans by arguing that heavily taxing businesses is not the way to minimise migration as it may have a damaging impact on the UK economy as well as putting strain on certain sectors like the NHS which are understaffed as it is.

Britain’s future with regards to immigration may seem uncertain, which is why it is important to have specialist legal representation when making a Tier 2 visa application, in order to give it a greater chance of success.

Using Legal Representation to make Tier 2 Visa Applications

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 submit a Tier 2 Visa application.

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 Tier 2 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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