Tuesday, April 16, 2024

UK toughens work visa

The British government has toughened work visa requirements for jobseekers outside the European Union, doing away with the provision for them to settle in the UK.
The British Home Office on February 16 unveiled the details of the UK government’s reforms in work visa route. The shake-up is part of the new annual limit on non-EU workers, which will take effect on April 6, says a statement of the British High Commission in Dhaka.
“Britain needs to attract the brightest and the best to fill jobs gaps, but this should never be at the expense of workers already here. We have made it clear that employers should look first to people, who are out of work, and who are already in this country,” said UK Immigration Minister Damian Green.
“We intend to make the route to settlement tougher. It cannot be right that people coming to fill temporary skills gaps have open access to permanent settlement,” said Damian.
The non-EU workers, who want to go to Britain, will need to have a graduate level job, speak an intermediate level of English, and meet specific salary and employment requirements.
At the end of last year, the British government announced that nearly 20,700 visas will be made available in 2011-12 to skilled workers applying through Tier 2 of the Points Based System, as well as 1,000 visas under a new Exceptional Talent route.
Under the new system, employers will have to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from the UK Border Agency for a specific post if they wish to bring someone to the UK; a change from the current system that gives businesses an annual allocation.
The UK also announced that employers, who wish to fill a vacancy with a salary of £150,000 or more will not be subject to the limit on the number of CoSs that may be allocated.
The annual limit of 20,700 CoSs will be divided into 12 monthly allocations. At least 4,200 CoSs will be made available in April considering the possible demand in the first month of implementation. After that, the limit will be set at 1,500 places a month. Any places that are unused each month will be rolled over to the following month.
The Intra Company Transfer route, which is not part of the annual limit, will also be changed in three ways: the job will have to be in an occupation on the graduate occupation list, only those workers paid £40,000 or more will be able to stay for more than a year, and workers paid between £24,000 and £40,000 will be allowed to stay in the UK for no longer than 12 months.

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