UKBA has announced recently that from 14 December 2009 the resident labour market test requirement for Tier 2 visas will be four weeks. Previously you had to advertise for a period of two weeks or one week where the salary for the job is £40,000 or more.
While there are signs that the UK economy is improving for political reasons the Government needs to show that there are taking steps to safeguard British jobs. In practice if an employer really cannot find someone locally to fill the vacancy it should still be possible to employ overseas workers on the Tier 2 visa.
"We've always said that we would run our immigration system for the benefit of the UK and that is why the Prime Minister announced that we will extend the amount of time employers must advertise jobs in Jobcentre Plus, before they can bring in a worker from outside Europe" said Phil Woolas, Borders and Immigration Minister
The Migration Advisory Committee had proposed this change in their report of 19 August. On 7 September the Government decided that they would accept all of the committee's recommendations.
The advertising requirements in detail:
This will apply to advertising campaigns that start on or after 14 December.
- Those Employers who have already run advertisements will not need to re-advertise to meet the new requirement.
- It will not be necessary to advertise for the full four weeks continuously. If after two weeks the employer is unable to fill the vacancy from the resident labour market the employer must then advertise for a further two weeks.
- If after a total period of four weeks there is still no one available from the resident labour market to fill the vacancy the employer can apply for a Tier 2 visa to recruit a migrant worker. The British Government hopes that, where relevant, employers will only wait two weeks rather than four weeks before recruiting from the resident labour market. It remains to be seen how much difference this will make.
Borders and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas also said:
'This change will give United Kingdom workers an even better chance and more time to apply for skilled vacancies that might otherwise go to migrant workers. It will ensure that businesses can recruit the skilled foreign workers that the economy needs, but not at the expense of British workers, nor as a cheaper alternative to investing in the skills of the existing workforce.'
Further changes to Tier 2 as recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee will be introduced in spring 2010.