Immigration: The UK loosens their policies

  • Matthew Ashmore /
Published 2019-09-30 14:35

The United Kingdom is known to have one of the strictest immigration policies. This October, however, settling down in the UK will be made a little easier. Conditions to apply for the Tier 2 (General) visa, the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa as well as the Start-up visa will change to make them more accessible.

In an effort to bring more skilled talent to the UK, new conditions will be applicable beginning the 6th of October. The most important changes are being brought to the Tier 2 (General) visa category, which is the most sought after work visa in the UK. The Tier 2 (General) visa category allows workers who have skills in shortage in the UK to obtain work permits. And as from October 6th, more people will be eligible for the Tier 2 (General) visa because the Shortage Occupation List will be expanded. Indeed, professions have been added to the list, for example, under the biological scientists, medical, engineering or construction sectors.

At the same time, more spots will be available because PhD level jobs will no longer require sponsorship from a registered organisation. This means that companies will be free to hire more non-PhD level candidates. Indeed, only 20, 700 Tier 2 (General) visas are available every year and since PhD level jobs will not be included in this anymore, this will open up a significant amount of spots for other skilled workers.

Regarding the Tier 2 (General) visa conversion to an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), candidates will no longer be penalised if their salaries fall due to an illness, parental leave, or to their absence in relation to a national humanitarian, environmental crisis as well as a legal strike.

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa is also becoming more open to international candidates. Indeed, in addition to The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering, and The British Academy, the National Institute for Health Research will now also be able to sponsor candidates to the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa.

Ahead of Brexit, the Home Office has also announced that close family members of UK citizens who are EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and  who have lived with said citizen abroad will be able to apply for a residence permit in the UK.