Brexit will no doubt have a great impact on the business immigration sector.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)’s long-awaited report on the effect of European migration to the UK has been published last month.
According to reports, the MAC does not see ‘compelling reasons’ to give EU citizens any preferential treatment over non-EU citizens. Recommendations are made largely to loosen the Tier 2 system itself and have a more open policy like in countries such as Canada.
Below is a summary of the key recommendations for work migration post-Brexit
1. Making it easier for higher-skilled workers to migrate to the UK than lower-skilled workers.
2. No preference for EU citizens
3. Abolish the cap on the number of migrants under Tier 2 (General).
4. Tier 2 (General) to be open to all jobs at RQF3 and above.
5. Maintain existing salary thresholds for all migrants in Tier 2.
6. Retain but review the Immigration Skills Charge.
7. Consider abolition of the Resident Labour Market Test. If not abolished, extend the numbers of migrants who are exempt through lowering the salary required for exemption.
However, if all foreign migrants are bought into the same system then employers will need to become extra vigilant as risk of civil penalties faced by employers will increase significantly.
Hiring costs will increase and if medium skilled jobs are also included as more businesses will require to get on the sponsor licence register meaning increased administrative burden on organisations and a significant effect on businesses which have previously not had any engagement with the wonderful immigration system.
The UK and EU have agreed on a “large part” of the agreement that will lead to the “orderly withdrawal” of the UK.
The transitional period will last from Brexit day on 29 March 2019 to 31 December 2020 and EU citizens arriving in the UK between these two dates will enjoy the same rights and guarantees as those who arrive before Brexit. The same will apply to UK expats on the continent.
As a part of this process, the Home Office need to process huge numbers of people very quickly, from a legal status based on EU free movement to one based on the new post-Brexit category of ‘settled status’. And EU immigrants want to have a simple, hassle-free system for retaining their right to be in the UK.
With 3.7 million EU citizens and tens of thousands of non-EU partners. The Home Office are going to have to process around 5,000 people a day, every day, for two years.
To achieve this the Home Office are developing an app. which the user should find incredibly simple – just three questions: The first will ask if you are an EU national, the second will ask if you live in the UK and the third will ask if you have a criminal record.
Usually visa forms demand that the applicant supply the proof of their rights to stay, but here the work is done by the government.
This system is designed to give settled status to any EU citizen who has been in the UK for five years. Negotiations with the EU are still ongoing, but chances are that that five year period can start at any stage, up to the last day of transition on December 31st 2020. If someone applies before they’ve been here five years, they will be given ‘temporary settled status’ – although the Home Office intends to change this name to make it sound less tenuous. This then transforms into ‘settled status’ once the five years are up.