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End of Year review for 2019

Hello and welcome to’s End of Year review for 2019. I’m Sanwar Ali is one of the most popular visa related sites in the World. Millions of people a year visit a site. Our news reports appear as top news stories in google search around the World.

One of the biggest stories in the UK and around the World has been Brexit and the General Election. On 12 December 2019 there was a significant victory for Boris Johnson and the Conservatives in the General Election.

The new Government should take the opportunity to make sure that migrants and minority groups are treated fairly. There have been huge failings under the UK visa system and Justice system.

Human Rights abuses and discrimination in the UK visa system remain widespread

The first ever E2 Treaty Investor visa and E1 Treaty Trader visa schemes were with the UK in 1815.  The UK and US treaty for the E2 visa and E1 visa scheme requires British citizens to be resident in the UK.  There is some flexibility in this respect.  However, this is not a requirement for nationals of other Countries.  An added difficulty for British citizens.

Trump is also making things more difficult without changing the law.  It is very difficult passing new substantive immigration legislation in Congress. He is taking steps to make sure that USCIS and US Embassies scrutinise applications in more detail and refuse more applications. US E2 visa denials is impacting British and other foreign entrepreneurs. British business leaders have recently found themselves caught up in the US president’s ‘buy American, hire American’ policy as E2 visa refusal rates rise sharply.

A number of recent changes to the UK visa system, especially since the expansion of the Shortage Occupation List of 6 October 2019 have made it easier for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence employers and Tier 2 General visa migrants.   The changes mean that about 9 per cent of total employment in the UK will come within the scope of the shortage occupation list, compared to less than 1 per cent of total employment, which was previously the case.  This has happened under Boris Johnson's "right wing" Conservative Government.  Many would say that the Conservative Party is overall more anti-immigration than the other main parties.

Many more occupations now come under Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List

This is a significant benefit. Many employers will no longer have to do the Resident Labour Market Test. Advertising the vacancy and considering job applicants for the position can be very time consuming.  Those benefitting include those in the IT, healthcare, and hospitality industry.

It has become more and more difficult to obtain L1 visas.  Unless it is for a very large company with blanket filing the documentation requirements are quite enormous.  Both the L1A visa for Executives and Managers and the L1B visa for Specialized knowledge workers is difficult to obtain. 

Indian and Chinese nationals are unable to come under the E2 visa and E1 visa scheme.   Therefore in many cases the only option left is the L1 visa.

According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data, fewer L1 visa intracompany transfer applications were approved by the government agency in its 2019 financial year.

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