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Brexit could favour immigration outside of London

Following the Queen’s speech on 14 October, the government has unveiled an immigration bill which would end free movement and favour migrants seeking work outside of London.

Priti Patel, UK Home Secretary, has spoken of the need for the UK to adopt an Australian points-based system and is considering rules which would encourage skilled migration to poorer areas in the UK including the north of England and coastal areas. These areas are suffering from a shortage of doctors and teachers.

It is unclear whether this bill will pass through parliament especially given the upcoming general election on 14 December. If the government gains a majority it will likely pass however if the opposition gains power, the UK will likely see a more relaxed immigration system.

This has raised concern within UK tourism which has maintained that the low-skilled immigration is just as vital for the functioning of their sector. According a study undertaken by Canterbury Christ Church University and UKinbound, a British tourism trade association, post-Brexit immigration reforms could destabilise the tourism industry, an industry worth £145 billion (7.2% of UK GDP).

In this report they detail that “low-skilled” workers are just as valuable as “high-skilled” workers in this industry. They also advocated for language skills to be added to the occupational shortage list and to lower salary threshold required for a work permit.

How will Brexit impact your Tier 2 Work visa application?

Under current regulations, foreign nationals from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) need to gain sponsorship from an employer to be employed for a specific skilled role which cannot be filled otherwise.

In a post- Brexit landscape, it is likely that EU nationals will be subject to the same controls as foreign nationals and may need to seek a similar sponsorship. In Britain there is an approximate 3.6 million European nationals residing many of which do not hold settled status and are concerned that they will be subject to immigration controls after Brexit.

How to get a Tier 2 work permit?

As stated, before getting a Tier 2 work visa you will need a sponsorship from an employer, given the government’s attempt to support developing areas across the UK, a visa may be easier to obtain from an employer outside of London. However, this is not to say that gaining employment from London will be impossible.

Key to obtaining a Tier 2 work visa is a strong application.

In addition to a certificate of sponsorship, the Home Office will examine your salary, your English language skills, your savings and your criminal record.

According to the authors of the UKinbound report the Home Office has proposed raising the salary threshold to £30k in order to limit the number of unskilled workers. This far exceeds the average salary of £23k.

The Home Office also shows favour to occupations which it lists as in shortage.

Do you need a UK immigration solicitor?

Often these applications can become quite complicated and can be notably expensive as the Home Office does not offer a refund for applications which it rejects.

The Home Office has often rejected work permits for a variety of reasons including not having the proper documents or alternatively supplying too many documents. Here a deft legal hand and experience is needed.

Westkin Associates has a successful track record of submitting documentation and applications for work visas as well as appealing Home Office refusals. We have further worked with clients to gain settled status so that they are free of immigration restrictions.

For more information and to speak to one of our UK Work permit lawyers contact us on 0207 118 4546 or via

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