Sanwar Ali reviews recent UK visa developments early June 19

By Sanwar Ali

Recently there have been concerns about the consequences of a no-deal Brexit on UK visa policy - Following a report from the Migration Advisory Committee it may become easier to bring in skilled workers on a Tier 2 visa - What will happen if Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister?  Will it make much difference?  - Is it actually possible to obtain an UK Innovator or Start-Up visa?  We cover these and other issues below.

No-Deal Brexit Unlikely

According to Reuters, Goldman Sachs the international investment bank says that there is only a fifteen percent likelihood of a no-deal Brexit.  The odds have slightly increased for a no-deal Brexit since Theresa May announced her resignation and Boris Johnson became the front runner to take over.

Politically, it will be difficult to have a “no-deal” Brexit.  It is just too controversial.  It also seems unlikely that Parliament would agree to such a move.  It therefore seems likely that free migration of EU citizens will continue for some time to come.  If Boris Johnson does become Prime Minister he is in some respects quite liberal on immigration.  Politicians obviously need to attract support and votes and so tend to change their views from time to time depending on what is popular at the time.  Boris Johnson is of mixed Turkish, Jewish, Russian, French and English ancestry.

Increase in occupations on UK Shortage Occupation List likely

We do not know for sure.  However, as the Migration Advisory Committee MAC has recommended a significant increase in the number of occupations on the Shortage Occupation List it seems likely that this will be changed.  It has been said that the changes, if put into place, will mean that nine percent of jobs in the labour market will be included in the shortage occupation list compared to the current one percent.  This is the biggest change in some years.

Matt Hancock one of the Tory leadership candidates says that if he becomes leader and Prime Minister there will be complete freedom of movement for medical staff from around the World who wish to work in the UK.  It is extremely unlikely that he will win.  Even if he does it seems unlikely that he will be able to go ahead with this anyway.

Innovator and Start-up visa categories very difficult to obtain

There are so few endorsements available which means that these two schemes will be very difficult to come under.  It seems that unless you are already involved with an Endorsing Body you will be unable to come under the UK Innovator visa and Start-Up visa schemes.  Previously, it was thought that the smaller investment required for the UK Innovator scheme of £50,000 compared to the £200,000 usually required for the previous Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme, would result in more people becoming eligible under the scheme.  However, the current difficulty in obtaining an endorsement means that probably it was easier to find £200,000 to come under the previous Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa scheme, than to come under the new UK Innovator visa scheme.   

The new Start-up visa has no particular investment requirements.   However, like the Innovator visa it is very difficult for many to obtain an endorsement.  Who knows.  Perhaps the situation will change in future.

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