Written by Jerry Conlan
The Migration Advisory Committee last week published its proposals for the UK work visa policy once the UK has left the European Union. The Government has historically adopted the vast majority of the MAC’s proposals, however, with Brexit negotiations at a critical stage it remains to be seen what their response will be. Eye catching proposals include:
- No preferential treatment for EEA nationals after Brexit
- Lowering the skills threshold for Tier 2 visas
- Abolishing the controversial Tier 2 visa cap
- Abolishing the requirement to advertise a vacancy
If these measures are adopted this could, potentially, be good news for employers who habitually hire skilled workers from outside the UK, since the reduced bureaucratic burden should make the process much easier. On the other hand, they have been less welcomed by employers in lower skilled areas such as the hospitality sector, who rely heavily on the supply of workers from EU countries. Many had hoped that the door would remain at least partly open for European nationals to fill this type of role.
Jerry Conlan, Director of Immigration at Gordon Dadds, says: “I am quite surprised at the wide ranging nature of these proposals, having expected a more modest tinkering of the rules to allow UK companies to continue hiring executives from within the EU. Instead, they have suggested that the Government takes the knife to what is a cumbersome and bureaucratic process. The MAC has been careful to focus on more highly skilled roles but, nonetheless, some of the proposals have inevitably been politically controversial. The Brexit debate, after all, was about reducing immigration, not making it easier.”
A link to the report is here.
Contact the Author
I spent over six years working as a Manager within the Home Office in the department dealing with work permits and sponsor licence applications. I have practised United Kingdom immigration law in the private sector for over fifteen years and during that time headed the immigration department at KPMG. I have considerable experience dealing with complex work permit applications along with business and investment based immigration routes into the United Kingdom.