UK Visas: Part 2
Following on from our recent post, we can provide some additional information for those TP/tax professionals looking to work in the UK from next year (COVID-19/international travel restrictions permitting, of course).
As noted, the UK government has proposed amendments to the existing points-based immigration system rather than completely overhauling the current system.
Most existing economic routes into the UK will remain largely unchanged with the exception of the current Tier 2 General route, which is being replaced by a “skilled workers” route. This is typically the main route into the UK for TP/tax professionals.
The new system will allow most migrants to switch from one immigration category to another within the UK.
This should be welcomed by many employers, particularly if applicable in common scenarios such as Tier 2 Dependant moving to become main Tier 2 visa holder or Youth Mobility Scheme visa holders moving to a skilled worker visa.
Who is impacted?
From 1 January 2021, all workers, EU citizens or not, will need to gain 70 points under a system designed to assess their skills and salary.
The job they're coming to must be sponsored by a Home Office-approved employer, and pay more than £20,480 (often higher).
Another key difference under the UK’s new visa rules is that the Resident Labour Market Test (“RLMT”) has been removed.
Previously, an employer needed to advertise the role
for 28 days to determine that no suitable local applicants were available to fill the role. This may now result in far quicker processes. Employers will still need to prove they are attempting to fill an actual vacancy though.
There is no "unskilled" route for family members accompanying someone with a job offer, but students and dependant family members will be able to come to the UK.
Spouses, partners and children under 18 will count as
dependants. They can then go on to work in the UK in many cases without meeting the salary test.
The Skilled Worker Visa (“SWV”) route will replace the current Tier 2 General route that most TP/tax professionals use to enter the UK. There will be no annual ‘cap’ on entrants to the UK under SWV route.
All an applicant needs is a job offer from a licensed sponsor employer and enough points under the eligibility criteria.
The good news is that TP/tax professionals with more than 3-4 years’ experience will earn more than the income thresholds proposed and will be considered “skilled” workers under the rules.