The UK government plans to introduce a skills charge for all UK employers who choose to hire a skilled non-EEA national as of April 2017.
This new fee is being referred to as the Immigration Skills Charge and will cost employers £1,000 per Tier 2 migrant employee per valid visa year. Based on the fact that a Tier 2(General) visa is initially issued for typically 3 years, this means that the usual immigration costs for such an application will increase by £3,000.
The Home office has unashamedly admitted that this new charge along with other changes to the UK’s Immigration Rules, is designed to deter UK employers from sourcing overseas talent.
For most employers, however, the decision to look further afield for their desired personnel is born out of necessity, not preference. For many organisations in emerging industries whose required skill sets cannot be found within the current resident labour market, the Immigration Skills Charge may not only deter them but also stifle growth or expansion.
Planning and organising your human resources ahead of April’s changes to the UK Immigration Rules is the best way to minimise the impact of this new charge, but to do this employers need to act fast!