IMPACT – HIGH
U.K. Visas and Immigration has published a Statement of Changes to the U.K.’s Immigration Rules, including changes to the Tier 2 route for skilled workers that will be of direct relevance to U.K. sponsoring employers.
The most important change is that nurses and doctors will no longer be counted in the overall 20,700 quota for Tier 2 (General) restricted certificates of sponsorship. UKVI stated that this change was made in response to the acute shortages and pressures currently facing the National Health Service, and the fact that the limit has been oversubscribed in each month since December. The changes will mean that health sector employers will be able to sponsor doctors and nurses directly from the shortage occupation list, without requiring restricted Tier 2 certificates of sponsorship.
The following additional changes are being made to Tier 2:
Additional changes will impact other immigration categories, including:
Additional information on the changes, which come into effect on July 6, can be found here.
BAL Analysis: The change to exempt doctors and nurses from the quota has been campaigned for vigorously as a means to relieve the National Health Service from a resourcing crisis, but will also have a positive effect on corporate employers looking to fill skilled vacancies under the Tier 2 (general) scheme. Fewer applicants for Tier 2 Restricted Certificates from the NHS, which currently accounts for half of all applications, should equate to greater access for other U.K. employers and a return to situation where the monthly quota availability largely meets employer demand. The changes for doctors, nurses and Croatians will free up places within the limit for other employers, but because these changes will be kept under review, there remains a possibility of a policy reversal.
This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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