Tier 2 Visa Changes Could Effect UK Businesses

On Wednesday the 6th of April 2016, the government introduced a new ruling for Tier 2 visa changes. The majority of non EU migrants in the UK, on a Tier 2 visa, will now have to earn a minimum salary of £35,000 in order to qualify for settlement in the country.

Anyone from outside the EU who has come to the country as of April 2011 via a Tier 2 visa could now face deportation.

The change has attracted a large debate regarding businesses in the UK who depend on foreign talent or skilled workers, as now it will be much harder for them to recruit these professionals from outside of the EU. It has also been raised that this could have a negative impact on the number of non-UK entrepreneurs looking to set up companies in Britain.

The Tier 2 Visa Changes

Tier 2 visas are given to non-EU workers, which are sponsored by a company.

This visa route is set up to do the following:

  • Employ workers from overseas where it is evident that the position cannot be filled by an individual who is based locally.
  • It allows skilled workers the opportunity to gain settlement and work permits in the UK after completing five year of residence here.

The individuals who remain for five years (six under the new rules) must either meet the minimum requirements for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or must leave the UK for at least 12 months before reapplying for entry into the country. The updated ILR requirements now include the £35,000 minimum salary requirement, minimum residence, and company sponsor.

Not all jobs employed under the Tier 2 scheme are disturbed as a result of the alteration. Jobs that will not be impacted and are exempt from the change refer to the ones on the shortage occupations list – programming, engineering, social work, electronics and medicine.

What Does This Mean

There is a concern that the new salary requirement is going to cause problems for the start-ups of the company.

It is believed that businesses who are unable to meet the increased salary threshold requirement will lose out. Today, many businesses in Britain rely heavily on advance foreign workers. The change could mean that they will need to terminate contracts of those sponsored employees on the visa. As a result, this may leave companies with the helpless choice of hiring inexperienced staff who may not have the same level of speciality, meaning their business productivity could decline in the future.

The biggest concern is that the UK would not only become an unattractive place for new companies who’d need Tier 2 sponsored employees but it may also see profitable and tax playing companies decide to relocate their business elsewhere, where it is more beneficial to run.

With large skilled industries such as engineering and manufacturing already struggling to obtain the necessary talent, this new move is predicted to cause Britain a big loss in its start-ups appeal.