Tier 2 skilled worker visas issued to overseas migrants in 2016 were granted to those with a job offer within the UK’s booming technology sector.
Despite these figures, however, a recent report from Coo dec revealed that many small and start-up UK tech companies are struggling under the heavy costs and lengthy processes involved in the current immigration system for skilled workers.
Unfortunately, it is about to get worse. With Coo dec estimating a potential skills shortage of almost 800,000 roles within the technology sector by 2020, the industry looks set to be one of the hardest hit by the upcoming Immigration Skills Charge (ISC).
The ISC will soon become a part of the UK immigration landscape, with the employers of Tier 2 migrants being charged £1,000 per Tier 2 migrant hire per valid visa year. This is a charge which will be levied upfront as part of the initial visa application and will present even more financial pressure to those firms needing to recruit from overseas.
So what can UK tech firms do to arm themselves against this new charge?
We advise that efforts are made to submit all current or anticipated UK visa applications ahead of April’s deadline in order to lessen the immediate financial impact of this new immigration charge.
It would also be wise to look to future recruitment needs and to accordingly budget for any anticipated overseas hires.
The good news is that an application to extend a Tier 2 visa which was originally issued before the April deadline will not be subject to the ISC. This exemption will be music to the ears of many UK organisations, not least the tech industry!