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The UK Reaches Visa cap for Skilled Workers for the third month in Succession

February 2018, 19
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Britain was able to hit the cap on visas, meant for top-skilled non-European workers for the third-month consecutively. This has resulted in intensifying the staff recruitment crisis faced by the NHS as well as other major employers.

The quota allocated for the month received a good response, both in December 2017, and in January 2018, after seven years and it was expected by the immigration lawyers to be an error, but now there is a feeling that it would be a long-term issue.

A majority of the Tier-2 Work Visas, given by the Home Office, are received by the medical/other staff meant to join the NHS. Experts feel that the first category of staff to be refused admittance would be doctors and Associated Healthcare Staff, apart from Scientists and Software Developers.

The quarterly immigration figures will demonstrate substantial evidence of an exit during the last year, and decreased the number of arrivals, from EU nationals for working in the country. There are more people who are heading to their homes.

Moreover, the Home Office has sent several emails to the businesses and employers in the UK informing them that the applications submitted for the Certificates of Sponsorship, which are required for recruiting top skilled workers, from areas outside the European Union, were rejected, as they had not met the minimum-points threshold meant for the February quota.

This cap on skilled workers works on the annual quota (20,700) where there are fixed slots available for each month. In December 2017, the monthly allocation had exceeded in a single month, since 2011.

There was a confirmation, from Home Office, that the least salary for a profession, to qualify in the skilled work visa category, was £ 30,000 or £20,800 for graduate recruits. In December it was reset at £55,000. In the January Tier-2 Visa, applications for an occupation, which paid below £46,000 annually, were rejected, unless they were listed, on PhD-level-roles, or pertained to jobs, appearing on the List of Official Shortage Occupations.

The present system of points, pursued in immigration, attaches a priority to the applicants based on the advertised salary, and the least annual pay keeps changing as per the volume of applications which rise above the quota, and the rating achieved by the applicants. This is tough for the NHS.

Experts feel that based on the information received it appears that the yardstick for rejection, adopted in February is around £50000. The employers were going for sponsoring skilled workers, as they wanted to be certain regarding their plan of recruitment. The government needs to intervene in the present scenario and modify the points/criteria or adopt certain exemptions. Seeking removal of NHS workers from the list has also been requested.

The jobs meant for top-skilled workers from areas outside of the EU, not figuring on the List of Official Shortage Occupations, need an advertisement in the country, for a given time, unless the salary is £159,600. There are many employers who agree to pay £65,000 for a profession where the previous pay was £35,000 to ensure that they obtain a visa when the allocation is done in the future.

The quota had exceeded thrice, and it will exceed in the future also, as there are many reapplications. Applicants are in a position to reapply in the future months if the job advertised remains valid. Presently, the applicants cannot appeal, when the application is refused.

The CEO of NHS Employers is seeking the exemption of medical staff from the allocation from the Home Office stating that many of its organizations were concerned as they were unable to get sanctions for crucial medical duties.

An official of the Home Office said that it was greatly important that the immigration system must work for the nation, and ensure that employers first seek the UK labor in the resident market prior to overseas recruitments.

The shortage lists published includes several medical professionals, consultants and experts in emergency medicine / clinical radiology, and it is estimated that a major portion of these tier 2 positions will be given to the National Health Scheme.
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