Recent changes in Immigration routes to tackle BREXIT labour shortage

UK Government has announced various addition of Immigration routes and Pilot schemes in order to tackle Brexit labour shortage to ensure smooth availability of skilled labour in the UK. In this article, we look over some of the recent routes introduced over the last few months.

Seasonal Workers – 2,500 migrants a year 

British farmers will be allowed to recruit 2,500 non-EU migrants a year under a new government pilot that will help alleviate an anticipated shortage of seasonal workers after Brexit. Under the new scheme, which will run for two years from next spring, non-EU nationals who travel to the UK to work on fruit and vegetable farms will be able to stay for six months before returning. This two-year pilot is expected to ease the workforce pressures faced by farmers during busy times of the year.

Overseas researchers – UKRI Science, Research and Academia

The ‘UKRI Science, Research and Academia’ scheme opened on 6 July 2018 by way of an addition to the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange) visa route in an effort to encourage the ongoing growth of the research sector in the UK.  The Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange) route is the principal visa route by which non-EEA nationals who wish to undertake training and work experience are able to come to the UK.  The new scheme allows non-EEA researchers, scientists and academics to come to the UK for up to 2 years.The scheme is operated by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and means that they, along with 12 approved independent research organisations, including the Natural History Museum, are able to directly sponsor highly skilled researchers to work and train in the UK. Sponsored researchers include academics, researchers, scientists, research engineers or other skilled research technology specialists who will be hosted through an approved research institute, in a supernumerary role.

New UK Startup Visa for Entrepreneurs

The new route, announced during London Tech Week, will widen the applicant pool of talented entrepreneurs and make the visa process faster and smoother for entrepreneurs coming to the UK. It will replace a visa route which was exclusively for graduates, opening it up to a wider pool of talented business founders. It will require applicants to have acquired an endorsement from a university or approved business sponsor, including accelerators. The visa route has been designed following advice from the Migration Advisory Committee and feedback from the tech sector and other stakeholders. This route will launch in Spring 2019, further details will be announced in due course.

Removal of Doctors & Nurses from Tier 2 Visa Cap

The removal will mean there will be no restriction on the numbers of doctors and nurses who can be employed through the Tier 2 visa route – giving the ability to recruit more international doctors and nurses to provide outstanding patient care when required. The Tier 2 visa route, which has had an annual cap of 20,700 since 2011, has in recent months seen the number of applications exceed the monthly allocation of available places. This has been driven, in large part, by demand from the NHS, which accounts for around 40% of all Tier 2 places. As well as providing a boost to the NHS, it will also free up hundreds of additional places a month within the cap for other highly skilled occupations, such as engineers, IT professionals and teachers.

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent – Increased to 2000 per year

The first big change is that the number of places available per year has been doubled from 1000 to 2000. This is to be allocated between the five Designated Competent Bodies (DCBs) according to demand. The next big change is the introduction of accelerated settlement after three years, bringing the category in-line with Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and (Investor) routes which have similar routes to settlement before five years.This means that recognised world leaders in their field can apply to settle after three years, and potential world leaders must wait until year five.

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