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Work visas to UK can become more accessible

PUBLISHED: 10 July 2019

It has been and is still quite hard for foreign specialists to find a sponsor in the UK that would employ them under the Tier 2 category. Employers are normally put off by the cost of the application, by the need to apply for a licence if they don’t have one, by the rules and regulations that licensed sponsors must follow, by penalties that they might face if they don’t comply and much more. And of course, the salary they are obliged to pay to an employee is a big No-factor.

Tier 2 salary threshold

If you have a Tier 2 General visa your employer must pay you no less than £30,000 per year, or £20,800 if you are finishing your studies or you are younger than 26 years old. If you are a part of an intracompany transfer, you will not get a visa unless you earn at least £41,500.

£30,000 is just a minimum; this requirement will vary based on what you are doing. Say, you are a purchasing manager, then you must get at least £39,500 while a civil engineer is entitled to £33,300 per year. Your employer will have to pay you the same salary or even raise it before you can apply for settlement.

Measures to ease the rules

The UK government was almost forced to ease some of its Immigration Rules in order to fight skills shortages and meet growing demands of the economy. The employers across the UK have been concerned and protesting against the high salary threshold as it excludes a lot of highly skilled professionals from the pool of workers.

One of the measures tackles the shortage of nurses, paramedics and medical radiographers from non-EU counties. Their salary threshold has been lowered from £30,000 to £20,800.

On the other hand, to free up places for other non-EU professionals, the Home Office out-quoted doctors and nurses from the general cap and assigned them a separate quota. Prior to that they’d been reported to account for 40% of all Tier 2 places.

New government – new rules

Everybody expects now that the next prime minister will reduce the salary minimum for Tier 2 general applications from £30,000 to £20,000. It is done, firstly, to help employers fill vacancies and, secondly, make it easier for EU nationals post-Brexit as this threshold might become applicable to them too.

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