UK reaches Tier 2 Visa cap for skilled workers for third consecutive month

For the third consecutive month the UK has reached the cap for the number of Tier 2 Visas that are granted. The increase in the number of Tier 2 visa applications is said to have been a knock on effect of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, with fewer EU nationals applying for UK jobs. Consequently, skilled sectors such as the National Health Service (NHS) are left severely understaffed with various NHS Trusts around the country losing out on valuable staff just because the Home Office has reached its monthly quota of Tier 2 visas.

What is the Tier 2 Visa cap?

In order to recruit skilled workers from overseas, the Tier 2 Sponsor must satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test or the job must be listed on the Home Office’s official Shortage Occupations List. Jobs that are listed on the Shortage Occupation List are positions where there are gaps in the job market that have not been filled by UK residents. Therefore businesses may then recruit from overseas. The Home Office however, has a limit on the number of Tier 2 visas are granted. Each year the Home Office has a limit on the number of Tier 2 visas that are granted to skilled migrant workers. The annual quota is 20,700 Tier 2 visas, which works out to 1,700 Tier 2 visas allocated per month.

Why has the Tier 2 Visa cap reached for third consecutive month?

This month is the third month in a row that the UK has reached the Tier 2 visa cap. The demand for skilled non-EEA migrant workers has increased as the number of applications from the EU has decreased since the UK voted in favour of Brexit.

Recruitment specialists and medical professionals have concerns that the Tier 2 visa cap is preventing doctors from taking up jobs in the NHS. It has been reported that dozens of medical professionals are prevented from coming to the UK because their Certificate of Sponsorship applications are being rejected. In response, a Home Office spokesperson said:

“When demand exceeds the month’s allocation of Tier 2 visas, priority is given to applicants filling a shortage or PhD-level occupations. The published shortage lists include a range of medical professionals, including consultants specialising in clinical radiology and emergency medicine … and we are committed to ensuring that net migration is reduced to sustainable levels and that the jobs of British workers are protected”.

It is important that the UK and sectors such as the NHS are able to employ skilled migrant workers to fill the increasing number of important vacancies. If it is not possible to hire a settled worker then the Home Office should not be deterring these migrants with specific and valuable skills.

Other factors for Tier 2 Visa Applicants

In April last year, the UK Government raised the minimum salary requirement for Tier 2 workers from £25,000 to £30,000 or £20,800 per graduate recruit.  Worryingly, this demonstrates the increasingly expensive and tedious procedures in regard to sponsoring and applying for a Tier 2 visa are ultimately designed to reduce the UK’s net migration. The British Medical Association recently warned of the “chronic shortage” of doctors across most areas of medicine in the UK and that sectors like the NHS rely on skilled migrant workers. Currently it is estimated that a third of all Tier 2 visa applications are for jobs within the NHS. Professionals are now urging the Home Office to relax its rigorous requirements and guidelines for the Tier 2 visa in order to preserve businesses and institutions such as the NHS.

Using Legal Representation to apply for a Tier 2 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 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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