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UK Tier 2 Visa will be More Difficult and more Expensive to Obtain

March 2017, 21
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UK Tier 2 Visa will be More Difficult and more Expensive to Obtain
In line with changes to UK policy, a new Immigration Skills Charge will come into effect for many Tier 2 Visa holders from April 6, 2017. The charge will be for the employer who is looking to hire a foreign, non-EU worker, to a UK position using the skilled Tier 2 Visa route. Employers are rushing to complete their applications now to avoid the charge.

There are also rumors this charge will in future apply to companies employing EU nationals. The UK Prime Minister has avoided a proposal by UK Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill to add the £1000 charge for companies hiring EU workers. Robert Goodwill believes this may assuage British workers who feel overlooked for foreign workers. There is controversy as to whether the policy was proposed in this nature but further suggestions elsewhere are that Tier 2 Visa restrictions should be placed on EU workers post-Brexit.  The Immigration Minister has expressed concern that not enough has been done to employ skilled British workers and some businesses were over-reliant on hiring foreign skills.

The yearly fee of £1000 for Tier 2 Visa employers will be in addition to existing visa charges and the resident labor market test. So a business employing an Indian engineer on a three-year contract will pay an additional £3000 in fees for doing so.  If this was applied to EU and non-EU workers, the bill to UK businesses would be substantial.

Other plans afoot include changes to the seasonal worker's scheme which would exclude this type of workers from the net migration target and allow tens of thousands to work in Britain for a period of fewer than six months. This is still a suggestion for now.

Businesses are angered by the £1000 Tier 2 Visa fee especially those who depend on highly skilled workers from abroad. And that such a tax can only harm businesses who are already facing uncertainty. Sean McKee of the London Chamber of Commerce said that such a levy on EU migrant workers would surmount to finding many UK firms. 

The UK Tier 2 Visa is for skilled workers, where businesses are unable to find the skill set they need from UK workers. It has a maximum duration of five years and fourteen days, with extensions the visa can be for a maximum of six years.

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