UK Tier 1 Visas – Where is the Policy Headed for Skilled Professionals?

UK seems to be in turmoil on account of expected 490,000 job cuts in the public sector over the next few years. And when locals get unemployed in large numbers, what will be the immigration policy for overseas workers? Will the Government not face pressures to further restrict the policies?

In order to analyze, it is important to understand the present job cuts. UK, like majority of countries worldwide, did massive deficit financing to overcome the recession and generate employment. Now that matters were coming back to normal, the deficit for future and thereby the economy strength could have been ensured only against cutting in spending. And the Government can only cut its own expenses. That is what the current coalition Government is doing.

It will be worthwhile to note that the biggest beneficiaries of Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas are Asians and mostly Indians. There is indeed confusion and misunderstanding at large about the “numbers” of jobs that non-EU professional take up in UK. If locals face difficulty on account of lesser number of jobs on the market, they are primarily being taken up by EU/EEU workers who can work freely in UK in most cases. Tier1 and Tier 2 applicants are skilled professionals who are not available in UK in the first place and if at all available, they are very expensive. Availability and costs of hiring – both are important factors that determine the competitiveness of UK companies. So Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa holders are not taking the jobs meant for the local people. They are contributing to UK’s growth and competitiveness in this highly volatile world.

The recent news that upper quota limit to UK tier 1 visa for the month has been reached and fresh applications will only be accepted in the month of November, 2010 indicated the seriousness of the situation. It is clear that from now onwards, the applicants would have to wait for a month and then file. For Tier 2 visas employers are running out of sponsorship certificates to get more overseas workers. Even the processing for Tier 1 visas has started to take more time. Further, it is expected that permanent immigration caps on Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas will be significantly reduced in April 2011.

When it comes to Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas in the future, there are strong speculations of changes in the Salary multiplier factor; one of the key selection factors under the programs. Qualifying criteria are likely to be increased to higher levels. Additionally, the possibility where even the rules and procedures governing “Indefinite Leave to Remain” and “UK Citizenship” will be more stringent. What will the happen to the long term overseas settlement plans of UK Tier 1 & 2 aspirants and holders?

What is normally not understood and clearly appreciated by UK Tier 1 and 2 holders and aspirants is that, by nature and rules, these are non-immigrant visas. They can apply for Permanent Resident status (or “Indefinite Leave to Remain” in UK) and Citizenship after many years and against stringent conditions.

However, under the current procedures, they would be eligible to apply for the above after 5 years of being on a non-immigrant status like Tier 1 & Tier 2. This means that they are not entitled to benefits and rights of a permanent resident while being on Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa. Countries like Canada and Australia offer permanent resident status and related benefits from the first day of landing. So what should the qualified applicants for UK Tier 1 visa to do?

First and foremost, keeping in view the likely changes, those qualified should file the application immediately and without delays. Contacting an experienced and seasoned Immigration consultant is the first step in that direction. Do not stop here!

Keeping in mind the uncertainty of the future UK policies on permanent resident status and if qualified, ensure to have a back-up plan by having other options for immigration. A wise immigration advisor who is an expert in managing both the UK Tier 1 and PR visa applications for other countries is an ideal choice.

If in doubt, feel free to write to the author at [email protected]. Do remember to send your and spousal resume (if applicable). If keen on UK Tier 1 visa, please also provide month-wise break-up of your salary in last 15 months. A free-of-charge assessment report will follow within 72 hours of receipt of your career profile and background.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* indicates required field